This season's Imperial Red was grown in the WuYi Mountains. It is handmade using an Oolong stock. Cups to a bright red color with lush, sweet notes characteristic of a black tea from this famous area. The leaves are a dark brown, thin and twisted with a smattering of gold. This style is not typically made for export as it is made in small quantities with flavors crafted more to the domestic taste palate . The leaves were roasted over charcoal fires in bamboo baskets. It has been 4 years since we found an Imperial Red we are proud to offer.
The leaves offer a very pleasing aroma, with just a hint of charcoal from the firing process. The craftsmanship in handling the leaf and processing is evidenced by the tea's appearance - the leaves are long and consistent with little breakage. In steeping, the aroma is fruity and fresh. This lot is complex - offering soft sweet flavors, hints of cocoa and a bit of molasses. Note the distinctive clear, russet-brown cup color reflecting the skill of the tea maker in oxidizing the leaves. The finish is clean and lingers soft and sweet. Made April 2019. Lot #1.
This Oolong varietal is known as a Ming Yan tea as it is grown within the WuYi Shan area. Given the elevation of the farm, the leaves of these Oolongs are dormant in the winter. Plucked comparatively early in the season, the leaves are compact & flavors are nuanced. Then fired over wood charcoal accentuating the leaf aroma. Leaves will steep multiple times.
This tea is complex and multi-layered in flavor and aroma. The first steep is brisk with sweet flowery notes being evident. While the flavor is generally fruity, we found tastes of molasses as well, with some maltiness. The second steep brought out more of the earthy side of the tea and its malty note. The finish is quite strong and lingers long after cupping. The aftertaste is very pleasant, sweet and clean. The mouth is enlivened with flavor.
Use a round tablespoon or about 3-4 grams for 8-12 ounces of water at a temperature of just below or at boiling. Rinse the leaves to awaken them. We suggest a steep of two minutes to experience the variety of flavors offered. Longer steeps of 3 + minutes will give more body to the cup. Leaves will steep multiple times.