Spring 2015, Qing Xin varietal grown at 2500m and above.
Medium-heavy roast, very warming
This tea comes from Ailao Mountain the middle of Yunnan. In 1994, Mr Huang, a taiwanese native, established oolong tea plantations, inside Ailao Mountain Nature Reserve. The plantations are managed organically and have been certified since their creation. Due to the high altitude, the leaves grow very slowly and have time to accumulate a lot of polyphenols.
This tea was processed in 2015 and roasted once a year for three years in a hot-air dryer. The triple roasting allows the tea to develop more complex fragrances. It's been vacuum-stored in Ailao Mountain for five years.
Roasting affects the aroma and the mouthfeel, it's a trade-off. You lose on sweetness but gain in complexity. The key is to bring in the firey notes without wasting the natural fragrance.
This tea feels very warming, the notes are on the high side of the palate and linger for a while in the mouth. A medium bitterness is present, this is due to the roasting. Interestingly, the soup leaves a fresh feeling in the mouth, which contrasts with the nature of the aroma. Fit for long Gongfu sessions and grandpa-style brewing.