A small lot made of leaves harvested from wild tea bushes. These bushes grow outside the boundaries of the surrounding tea farms and are not under active cultivation. More commonly known as Da Hong Pao, this tea is traditionally referred to as “rock tea” as its grows in rocky, mineral-rich soils with a limited harvest quantity. The terroir gives this black its distinctive flavors and aromas. Harvested in early spring 2019, the leaves are sinewy, turning to a red-brown color with steeping.
The fact it was grown wild without human hand was enticing and then, with tasting, it proved quite delicious. It was harvested in early April and processed over the next 24 hours. The leaves are well crafted creating a smooth, rich taste experience.
The pluck is consistent. The leaves are small-to-medium in size as it was harvested early in April. The weather in Fujian in that year was quite warm by late March. The first pluck yielding nuanced flavors and strong aromas. In processing the leaves are sorted, oxidized, hand worked, shaped and fired between 2 and 3 times. The hand working of the leaf and the subsequent firings create the great flavors of this lot.
The first taste is rich, dense in flavor. We find notes of cocoa mostly, some stone fruit. This tea has a real warming effect in its finish. Note its lingering sweet notes.
This tea, like most blacks, is best with water at about 195-205 F. Use 3 grams or a rounded teaspoon of leaf for 8-12 ounces of spring/filtered water. A quick rinse of the leaves will enhance the flavors of the first cup. Steep for 2.5-3 minutes.