Rich layered flavours, raisins, brandy, cinnamon, vanilla, slight sourness with earthy complexity, clean lingering aftertaste
Aged oolong tea is rarely available outside of Taiwan but we’ve been fortunate enough to import a limited supply for tea lovers and the curious to enjoy.
Grown at an altitude of nearly two kilometres, this tea is cultivated by a tea master from one of Taiwan's indigenous tribes. He employs Natural Farming, a technique closely related to organic farming and permaculture that mimics nature and avoids manufactured inputs and equipment.
His farm is within a cultural land reserve that preserves the natural high mountain environment for wildlife habitat. This oolong takes its name from one of the tiny indigenous birds that enjoy the mountain serenity, the colourful Flamecrest.
Harvested in Spring 2015 the Jin Suang cultivar was handpicked, then oxidised to between 25-40% and skillfully baked at a high firing creating an amber style oolong before being aged for five years.
What cellaring time and oak do for vintage wine or aged whiskey, allowing flavours and complex qualities to develop, the baking process does for oolong.
Our Flamecrest release has been baked twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017, before final ageing and release. But you can expect this oolong to keep developing over time with dry, light-proof storage.
To fully explore this tea, preheat a teapot with boiling water, empty it, then add the leaves. With the lid on, gently shake the dry tea, remove the lid and enjoy the initial aromas teased out by the heat. Next add water boiled to 100C and allow to brew for six minutes (for subsequent re-steeps, adding one more minute to the original time).
We’ve found deep engaging flavours, rich with earthiness and brandied woods. After this initial burst, you begin to taste underlying raisins, vanilla and cinnamon spice, with a hint of sourness, before finishing smooth, with lingering brandy aftertaste.
Origin Taiwan, Nantou, Shin Yi
Cultivar Jin Suang ttes#12 (camellia sinensis)
Cultivation Natural farming, alt. 1,800m
Harvest 2015 Spring, handpicked
Style Aged, baked 2016 & 2017
Serving per 300ml 2 teaspoons (4-5 grams)
Infusion (1st) 6 min, (2nd) 8min, (3rd) 10min