A dark Bai Hao (white-tip) oolong with an outstanding floral perfume and flavour. This tea’s unique character is mainly down to a combination of three factors: the distinctive, old-tree Qing Xin Da Mao cultivars, the long withering and high oxidisation of the leaves, and the aromatic terpenes produced by the leaf when bitten by tea jassids (小緑葉蝉). This tea was grown and processed in Summer 2016 in Miaoli in northern Taiwan by Mr Hsu, a fourth generation tea maker who, unlike many producers of jassid-bitten teas, uses no pesticides all year round rather than just in the season of harvesting.
This year’s tea has a lovely, long sweetness and notes of peach, honey and orange zest with a taste that lingers on the palate well after it has been drunk. In later infusions it has the intensity of a second flush Darjeeling black tea, with similar muscatel flavours coming into the foreground.
We recommend brewing this tea with water just off the boil and 5g of leaf per 150ml. Many infusions are possible. When cold or ambient brewed this makes an outstanding fruity and aromatic iced tea with no trace of bitterness.
Mr Hsu, Miaoli, Taiwan
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Qing Xin Da Mao cultivar. Harvested early Summer 2018.
95°C, 5g per 150mls. 5 infusions. To cold brew use 5g per 750mls and leave in fridge overnight.
Mr. Hsu’s family has been involved with tea making for 2 generations. His wife comes from southern Taiwan and for many years they had long distance relationship before marrying 20 years ago. Now their farm is bustling with their kids and 4 adopted dogs. Their kids adore playing in the tea fields and one of their favourite games is to pick insects off the tea bushes except the jassids that heighten the tea’s aroma when they bite the plants’ leaves.