Green Heart 2018
In May 2018, Jameel travelled to Taiwan for the spring oolong season. After arriving late at night, this tea was made early the next day, on 12th May, picked from the Huang family garden. This tiny tea garden sits high up on Jade Mountain in central Taiwan. It’s family owned and certified organic.
Just like wine, tea has varietals. Each varietal has slightly different flavour characteristics. This tea was picked from Qing Xin varietal tea plants, which are known as the highest quality varietals in Taiwan. The name Qing Xin means ‘Green Heart’ giving this tea its name. Qing Xin teas are more complex than other Taiwanese varietals.
After picking, the leaves are allowed to wither (wilt) slowly for the entire day, first in the sun, then inside on bamboo trays.
At the end of the day the leaves are fired at 300°C before repeated stages of rolling and drying overnight and the next day.
The result is a tightly rolled, very lightly oxidised oolong (left). The tea is so well made that it unfurls to reveal large, undamaged leaves.
The texture is creamy smooth and buttery. The glass is full of floral notes, with hints of unripe apricot, and very light tannins in the finish.
An oolong like this will infuse 5 to 7 times. Use 90°C water for 1 min per infusion. It pairs beautifully with white fish, veg (like asparagus), orchard fruit, and is excellent on its own at the end of a long day.