A light black tea from Ming Jian, a well known tea town in Nantou county. It comes from Mr. Hsieh’s tiny one acre tea farm, giving the tea its name (Yi Mu roughly means ‘one acre’ in Mandarin).
The Hsiehs, who mainly process oolong and green teas, have been producing black tea on a small scale for four years and are now experimenting with different cultivars. This tea has been made with Jin Xuan (Golden Lily), one of Taiwan’s most famous cultivars developed in the early 1980s by the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES). This cultivar is more commonly made into oolong teas due to its distinctive milky aroma and flavour when processed green, but it was originally developed as a black tea cultivar.
This tea was picked and made in Spring 2016 and has been stored for a year to increase the intensity of aroma and flavour. The dry leaf is long and twisted, similar to some oolongs, and unfurls into large, intact leaves with a dry leaf aroma of dark fruits and raisins. The flavour is gentle and fruity with notes of berries, summer fruits and warm spices while the sweetness is long and intense with very little astringency, even when pushed. Just 3kg of this tea was made last year.
Best brewed with 4-5g of leaf per 150mls and water that has been cooled to 90-95 degrees. We’ve found this tea responds very well to long brews which draw out a huge amount of flavour without any astringency.
Hsieh Family Tea Farm, Ming Jian, Nantou, Taiwan
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, TRES #12 (Jin Xuan) cultivar. Harvested late-Spring 2016.
90-95°C, 4-5g per cup. 4 infusions.
Mr Hsieh is a second generation tea maker whose family have been growing and processing tea for over 50 years. Mr Hsieh and his wife produce their teas naturally without pesticides and are certified by the Japanese environmental body MOA, using traditional methods of aiding tea growth such as growing grass together with the tea plants to keep in heat and moisture and removing insects by hand.
We named the 4 teas they make for us “Yimu” or “One Acre” as their farm is just an acre in size. On this tiny farm, they intercrop their tea field with ginger which they sell at their local organic market.