Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong Tea

14,2047,90

The Wuyi-style multi-roasted, medium-oxidized oolong tea comes from leaves of over 100 years old “Tuyet Shan” tea trees thriving in their natural forest environment in the northern Vietnamese province of Ha Giang. The delicately spicy and intensely sweet fragrance of the dry tea leaf reflects in the complex taste profile of the crystal-clear transparent, bright red infusion in a composition of ripe fruits, aromatic woods and spicy roasted notes.

For more information and illustrations please refer to the detailed product description below.

Description

Ancient Artisan Snow Red Oolong Tea

Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong - Oolong tea from over 100 years old "Tuyet Shan" tea trees in Ha Giang province, northern Vietnam

Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong is a multi-roasted oolong tea beyond medium oxidation level. It originates from leaves of “Tuyet Shan” tea trees native to Ha Giang Province in North Vietnam. At this, the 100+ years-old tea trees thrive in our local producer partner’s tea garden at natural conditions. That is, they grow from seed and in the midst of their genuine biodiverse forest environment (forest).

An outstanding feature of all our teas from that producer, is the unparalleled care and attention to detail. This applies to both picking and processing. Whether in China, Japan or India, we rarely see such meticulously implemented picking standard and such beautifully preserved tea leaf. This, in turn, reflects the authenticity and natural character of the leaves beyond the producer family’s passion for their craft.

Several hundred years old "Tuyet Shan" tea tree in our producer partner's forest tea garden in Ha Giang province, Northern Vietnam

Picking

The picking of the relatively young, but already fully developed tea leaves typically takes place during a period in autumn and spring each. At this, the tea of the autumn picking is considered to be superior in taste to that of the spring picking.

Tuyet Shan tea trees in our producer partner's forest tea gardin in Ha Giang province, Northern Vietnam / picking in the tree tops

Processing

The processing of oolong teas is generally considered to be particularly complex. This applies in particular to our Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong, processed according to the Wuyi model. On the one hand, this is due to the complex requirements of the meticulous rolling of the tea leaves. This process is designed to break up the leaf surfaces for a consistent and even oxidation process while preserving the tea leaf in its original form. On the other hand, the equally gentle and intensive multiple roasting requires not only great skill and rich experience, but also a particularly delicate sensory sensitivity and a maximum of attention on the part of the concerned tea master.

Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong - wet tea leaves after infusion

Taste and Appearance

The tea leaf, up to 8 cm long and rolled into sharp, straight needles, unfolds in hot water to its original shape and size. The delicately spicy, intensely sweet fragrance of the dry tea leaf intensifies in the infusion to create a sensually beguiling fragrance experience. This in turn reflects in the complex taste profile, carried by the same sweetness and coming in different compositions of ripe fruits, aromatic woods and spicy roast notes, depending on steeping period. In the cup, the tea is crystal clear and bright red in color.

Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong - Oolong tea from over 100 years old "Tuyet Shan" tea trees in Ha Giang province, northern Vietnam

Preparation

Both a Western or Gong Fu approach is recommendable for the preparation of Ancient Snow Shan Red Oolong. In the first case, we enjoy the tea’s full flavor potential in one single infusion. At a dosage of 2.5-3.5g/100ml, the infusion can steep for between 3 and 5 minutes, depending on taste preference.

With “Gong-Fu” preparation we distribute the tea’s flavor potential over a series of  comparably short-steeped infusions. That is, 3-4g/100ml might steep at a sequence of 1-1-2-3 minutes for a total of 4 infusions. At this, each infusion surprises with an individual taste pattern of its own.

Vietnam – ancient tea culture and “cradle country” of the tea tree

Vietnam’s Identity as one of the evolutionary “cradle countries” of the tea tree surprisingly is still not common ground in western tea lover circles. Similarly unknown is the fact that – without any exaggeration – some of the world’s best teas come from Vietnam. The country’s ancient tea culture – rooted in the tending of wild tea tree resources through ethnic minorities, had to defy quite some challenges and time and again adopt to new situations.

In particular, the long Vietnam’s colonialization through the French, the communist revolution and the Vietnam War  have left their stamp on the tea cultivation and tea production in Vietnam and influenced them lastingly. You will find more general information about Vietnam’s history as a tea producing country in our relevant article at Siam Tea Blog,

Vietnam Tea – Rebirth of an Ancient Tea Culture

 

Ancient "Snow Shan" tea tree, Ha Giang province, Northern Vietnam

In Vietnamese, tea means “Trà”, which – spoken correctly – sounds a lot like “Cha”. Today, besides the maintenance and cultivation of ancient tea tree reserves, conventional tea culativation is also widespread in Vietnam. This applies especially to a range of Oolong tea cultivars imported from Taiwan. Nevertheless, when it comes to tea, the ancient tea tree reserves remain the country’s most precious treasure. Particularly sticking out here is the “Thuyet Shan” (“Snow High Mountain”) tea tree variety native to the mountainous central Vietnamese provinces Suoi Giang and Ha Giang.

Trà Thuyet Shan – Snow Shan Tea

The Vietnamese “Thuyet Shan” tea tree (thuyet = snow, shan = high mountain) is growing up to 15 meters tall. The extraordinary strength of his trunk, tightly covered with moss and mold, the long large leaves and the possibly record-breaking giant buds additionally advocate the idea that the Thuyet Shan could belong among the most ancient tea tree varieties in the world. In the old times, the Vietnamese used to preferably consume tea leaves fresh, i. e. without any “further” processing after picking. Meanwhile, however, the production of green tea, black tea, white tea and a Vietnamese black tea specialty called “Trà Pai Hao” from the leaves of the “Snow High Mountain” tea tree also looks back on a long reaching back tradition.

The variety has its name from the white color of its buds, tightly covered with long white hair. Even after processing the buds and leaves to green tea, these are still well visible in the resulting leaf material. They’ll remain white with green tea, while appearing slightly yellow-colored with Snow Shan black tea and Tra Pai Hao.

Wild-growing ancient "Tuyet Shan" ("Snow Shan") tea tree in Ha Giang, Vietnam

‘Bach Shan Tea’, our producer partner in Vietnam, exclusively processes tea leaves and buds from the family’s own tea plantation. The same is located in altitudes of 1400+ meters in Ha Giang province and accommodates quite a proud reserve of 100+ years old Thuyet Shan tea trees. The plantation adheres to biodiverse and health and environment-friendly cultivation principles. This way, the tea trees benefit from the input and the regulating mechanisms of a naturally grown, biodiverse environment. Moreover, the use of pesticides becomes unnecessary.

Seeds on Thuyet Shan ("Snow High Mountain") tea trees in Ha Giang province, Vietnam

Additional information

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Weight

25g, 50g, 100g

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