China, Fujian, Wuyishan
Blend of 5 cultivars
Rock tea (oolong)
Although the first tea we brought you from Master Chen was a No. 18 Ruby Red, her real interest is Wuyishan Rock Tea. A very distinctive kind of oolong, authentic rock tea stands alongside sheng puer as the most expensive tea in the world. The exclusive terroir and its longtime fame ensure that. The technical mastery of the processing/ roasting steps, as well as intuition, displayed by the tea master are the but one of the many factors on which everything depends. Our approach to Master Chen's teas will be slowly scaling up to the big ticket items. This tea, although clearly 100% rock tea to the drinker, is 半岩. "半岩 bàn yán" means "half rock" which is the outside the geographic center of Wuyishan. Later on when we're ready we'll list some "正岩 zhèng yán".
This tea is Master Chen's own blend of 5 2018 rock teas: Dahongpao, Rougui, Queshe, Shuixian and Huangguanyin. We always have a lot of fun drinking this one. Individual characteristics of the different cultivars are defined, but they meld very nicely. Since some of the cultivars here are usually less of a full roast than Dahongpao or Rougui do to the more delicate flavors, the DHP and Rougui chosen here were 2 roasts (medium) and not the more common 3 roasts (full). Still, the result is full quintessential roasted oolong goodness. Unsurprisingly, it has a lot of big tastes upfront and packs a punch. Lots of Dahongpao taste and a respectable longevity.
Master Chen generally keeps her Wuyishan teas for 1 year before selling, to let the roast settle a bit. Any rock tea would make a beautiful candidate for aging, and this one is no exception. But that said, this tea is definitely ready to start drinking now, too.
Wet leaves smell of key lime pie, fruit loops, apple cinnamon oatmeal. Tastes develop from malt, multigrain toast, mineral, and stone fruit to grapefruit, more mineral, dark chocolate, minty cooling, and marshmallow. Long, clean buttermilk biscuit aftertaste.
Water temperature: boiling
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