Drunken Concubine is named in recognition of the intoxicating flavors of a wonderful, high-grade Tieguanyin oolong. Grown in the AnXi Region of southern Fujian Proince, the cultivar is made to variegated shades of greens almost to blue with soft golden highlights. Leaves are rolled into small club shapes. Steeped, the leaves open to a delightful lily-of-the-valley fragrance. Notes are bright, well-defined, clean & fresh. Expect sweet. orchid-floral notes and a wonderful lingering finish to the cup.
Each season, we taste various lots in late April to select a lot that we believe is the finest of the harvest. We are proud to offer our harvest 2020 lot of Drunken Concubine. This is a rare taste offering; fine-pluck, high-grade oolong, much prized in China. Lot #85.
Foremost, in the selection process of each year's lot, we rely on our tea maker of 17 years to create our seasonal offering of “Drunken Concubine”. The rolled leaves present a delicate composition of shades of green. Aromatic and floral and, indicative of the skill in processing, the leaves are uniform in size ensuring smooth, ever-emerging flavors as the leaves unfold. Tea was harvested in late April 2020.
AnXi Tieguanyin is one of China's famous teas. To gain this singular distinction of "high-grade", each season the tea maker must create a distinct flavor and aroma yet continue to process within the broad style (shape, coloration, flavor) of the Tieguanyin cultivar. The lot is fired at comparatively low temperature preserving subtle shades of coloration and fresh, herbaceous flavors. The flavor - reminiscent of orchids - is called lan. Sorted, the finest leaves are culled, with the finest leaves then combined to make these highest-grade lots. A process of 12 steps is followed to bring the leaves to the final firing and preservation of essentials flavors. This tea was harvested in the 3rd week of April 2020.
Liquor is soft, caressing the tongue with gentle vegetable notes developing into nectar-like flavors. The first steep is noted for aroma and we note a bouquet of lily of the valley and clover flowers. In subsequent steeps, the liquor becomes generous with enriched savory notes of vegetables and perhaps artichoke and then treasured floral tastes and a soft, buttery mouth feel. This growth in flavors will continue for several steeps. This tea brings floral and vegetal notes together in a refreshing finish.
Use 4 grams per 8 ounces of water. Water should be boiling temperature. Briefly rinse the leaves, pour this water off and re-infuse for 1.5 minutes and taste. For stronger flavors and more body, of course, use longer steep times. With the 3rd steep, the leaves are fully opened. Continue, this tea will yield 5-7 steeps with each further presenting the complexities of this wonderful oolong.