High Mountain Gui Fei Oolong
country of origin Taiwan
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Leaves with partial oxidation and pleasant sweet honey aroma with tones of baked bread, resin and pickled dates, rolled into small green-brown balls. Golden-orange infusion of very delicate creamy soft, sweetly spicy taste with a predominance of pasty honey, rose flowers, pickled fruit (pear) and light spicy woodiness in the aftertaste.
Preparation: we recommend to prepare the tea in Gong Fu style. Put 5 g of tea into a warmed teapot (150 ml) and pour the boiled water in. Let is steep for 15 – 30 seconds, then pour into a cup. Tea will endure more infusions.
Origin: Shan Lin Xi area
Altitude: 1100 meters
Cultivar: Chin Xin Oolong
Oxidation level: 50-60%
Tea prepared in August 2020
Lightly baked just before shipment to maintain freshness.
The leaves were biten by leafhoppers (Jacobiana Formosana), as well as Oriental Beauty. The biten leaves start to oxidize already on branches, that gives very original sweet spicy and honey tones to the tea, which is very popular and appreciated. In fact, leafhoppers suck the juice out of the leaves, branches and buds. Affected plant starts to produce certain substances such as monoterpendiol and hetrienol, that cause the unique aroma. The leaves´rims then turn to white.
Gui Fei oolong is a remarkably distinctive Taiwanese tea, and stories worth mentioning are attached to it. It was launched relatively recently, more specifically in the years following the catastrophic earthquake of 21 September 1999, which disrupted the lives of all people, including tea growers. In the famous Dong Ding area, tea producers neglected their plantations while they were busy rebuilding their homes and workshops. The tea gardens thus remained at the mercy of green leafhoppers, which enjoyed the succulent leaves. Biting the leaves causes the shrubs to respond to invasive beetles by increasing the polyphenol content of the leaves so that they can then be repaired. More polyphenols also means an increase in the content of tannins and after processing these leaves for tea: rich aroma of forest honey and sweetness in taste.
To further highlight this sweetness, growers let the leaves oxidize to a higher level. Then gently roast the tea to further caramelize it, making it one of the most delicious liqueurs you can experience with Taiwanese teas.
The second story is related to the name of this tea. In honor of Oriental Beauty (Dong Feng Mei Ren), another "bitten" tea grown in the northern part of the island, growers in the Dong Ding area decided to name this tea in honor of the famous beauty in Chinese history. Yang Gui Fei was the beloved wife of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. A beautiful name for a delicious tea!
Form: Whole leaf
Designation: Chin Xin
Country of origin: Taiwan