Taiwan Muzha Charcoal Roasted Tie Guan Yin Oolong
country of origin Taiwan
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Iron Goddes of Mercy from Taiwan
Traditionally processed leaf from cultivar Tie Guan Yin that originally comes from a Chinese Anxi region in Fujian province. Taiwanese Muzha district is famous thanks to those excellent teas coming from this cultivar. Its history in this region is not very long, though. Tea was brought by family Chang in 1919 and since then it was successfully grown and it’s quality and fame already nearly matches it’s relative Tie Guan Yin from Anxi, China.
Dry leaf is ball-shaped, has very dark iron-like colour and full intense sweet baked flavour with a strong nutty hint. Brown – green in a cup with full intense sweet baked honey aroma, with velvet soft, creamy very harmonious flavour with distinct tones of pickled fruits, plum butter, sugar cane and walnuts. Tea can stand many infusion, we strongly recommend it for a long archiving.
Cultivar - Hong Xin Wai Wei Tao (Tie Guan Yin) / 紅心歪尾桃
Altitude - 550 m
Region - Muzha / 木柵
Harvest - spring 2016
Preparation: we recommend to prepare the tea in 1,5 dcl of water. Put 3 g of tea into a warmed teapot and pour the boiled water, cooled down to 85°C . Let is steep for 1 – 1,5 minute, then pour into a cup. You can repeat the process many times, untill the tea has a good taste. With firther infusions, we slightly increase water temperature and time of steeping.
This tea was grown, processed and finally roasted by Mr. Zhang on his picturesque garden “Seeds of Kindness” located in the wooded hills in the Muzha District, at a northern edge of Taipei. Pan Zhang lives and grows plants in a full harmony with nature. He doesn’t use nay chemicals, his garden is fully organic MOA certified .
MOA stands for “Mokichi Okada Cultural Services Association International”. This organisation was founded by Mokichi Okada (1882–1955) who started three large project during his lifetime: “Mokichi’s detoxication treatment” for the soil, “Natural farming, beverages and food” and “Art and culture”. These three projects brought together interconnected groups of people who shared the same aim: to help each other. Okada’s main aim was “to enable the humankind to expand and flourish, and thus help to create healthier people, families, regions, countries and cultures”. His Japanese movement NPO for natural agriculture led to the founding of the Da Ren farm in 1982 and in 1991, the standards for healthy organic agriculture were created. Branches started to be founded together with the expansion of a social system for theoretical and practical collaboration among Japanese farmers. In April 1990, a group of people who cared about the environment and were preoccupied with pollution wanted to change the situation in Taiwan. They joined the international MOA and founded a sister organisation whose aim was to educate farmers and provide certification of organic food and beverages. This Taiwanese foundation was created with the aim to find a way of a healthy and happy life and to secure environmentally sustainable natural farming according to MOA and the hope that this ideology and techniques of sustainable agriculture will spread globally. The MOA certification is rather strict and it secures sustainable organic farming without a substantial bureaucratic and financial load – which is the problem of a number of organic certification authorities around the world. A good way to get acquainted with Taiwanese organic teas is to watch out for MOA certification.
From 1997 to 2000, Mr Xie and his family struggled with employing these principles. The tea was low grade and Mr Xie lost most of his customers. His father, who had been worried even at the moment when Mr Xie suggested the change of the status quo, was very critical of his decision. Organic farming is very difficult and requires a radical changes both in farming and processing – and such changes require time. Instead of giving up – which is what many people would do – Mr Xie took a part-time job as a carpenter and painter. He work day and night, carpentering and farming, to sustain his family. Finally, at the beginning of the new millennium, his organic farm was doing well enough to put his tea back on the market. Since then, he has won several awards, was on telly – and even heard his father, now an active octogenarian, bragging that his tea is organic and is good for the environment. Mr Xie’s work did not end with his own garden. He knew that he would have to improve his abilities, grow better and better teas and help his neighbours to understand the value of organic farming – especially because their plots are close and influence each other. He founded a cooperative with other farmers and started to teach the local people about the transition to organic farming, offering them equal shares in their joint business. As more and more people joined this initiative, the initiative also grew. Today, over twenty farmers from the Mingjian region have gone organic, including Mr Xie’s direct neighbours. Mr Xie’s good heart is expressed by his tears. He cares deeply for tea and for the Earth. He produces green tea, large- and small-leaved tea red tea as well as several types of oolong, all with a great skill. The problem is that the growers are able to gain money more easily with chemicals and less work. This is why many of them overuse fertilisers and pesticides, shortening the average life of their tea shrubs to fifteen years – all with a prospect of personal gain. In many of them, the chemicals cause cancer, making them the victims. Mr Xie is someone who saw a different way, and taught it to the others. And that’s what his tea is like, too.
Area: Taiwan - Muzha
Country of origin: Taiwan