SiamTeas CLUBBOX Feb ’22 – “4+1 Origins” Oolong-T-Box
The SiamTeas Club Box is a flexible format for bundling several types of tea in generously proportioned tasting size on a monthly basis at a preferential price. The first edition – January 2022 – offers a representative cross-section of China’s “black” tea varieties. Based on its characteristic cup color, however, black tea is called “red tea” or “Hong Cha” in China.
For more information and illustration refer to the product description below.
The CLUBBOX @ Siam Tea Shop
The SiamTeas Clubbox is a flexible format for bundling several types of tea in generously proportioned tasting size on a monthly basis at a preferential price. The second edition – February 2022 – offers a representative cross-section of the classic 4 regions of origin as well as the different processing variations of oolong tea. In addition to the four classic regions of origin of Oolong tea in China – Wuyishan, South Fujian, Fenghuangshan in Guandong and Taiwan – the box provides an example of a tea from Darjeeling, North India, processed in a similar way to Oolong tea processing.
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Accordingly, the February Clubbox 2o22 offers 20g each of the following, in terms of taste and appearance very distinct Oolong teas:
The DMS Four Seasons Oolong Tea does not come from Taiwan, but from the Taiwanese “Si Ji Chun” (= “Four Seasons”) tea cultivar imported from Taiwan and cultivated in a natural tea garden in Doi Mae Salong, northern Thailand. In terms of taste, this hand-picked, only lightly oxidized and unroasted oolong tea offers the best of both worlds. That is, it combines the fresh, tart taste of green tea with a uniquely creamy dominant note reminiscent of peanut butter and the complexity typical of such Oolong teas. All in all, the DMS Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong Tea is an inexpensive alternative in the top quality segment for tea lovers with highest demands.
No Wuyi “rock tea”, as it comes from Wuyishan’s less rocky, but all the more fertile surrounding area. Therefore, it is an oolong tea that is all the more typical for its origin in the north of the southeast Chinese province of Fujian. Accordingly, the open-rolled leaf, the medium to strong (multiple) roasting and an equal degree of oxidation are typical processing characteristics. In terms of taste, the tea is characterized by the sweet dried fruit notes typical of the region’s oolong teas and the processing method, which blend seamlessly with mild roasted aromas to create a perfectly harmonious overall pattern beguiling the taste buds.
While Anxi County’s Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea is certainly South Fujian’s most popular oolong tea, I wanted to present the region in my “4+1 Origins” Oolong T-Box with a lesser-known, but all the more interesting representative. The tea, which is slightly oxidized and gently roasted, comes from the Pinghe district in the south-eastern Chinese province of Fujian, where the year-round foggy high altitudes of the “Daqinshan” offer the special cultivar, which is not dissimilar to the “Tie Guan Yin” plant, optimal growing conditions . The tea got its name from the light color of its young spring buds (“Bai Ya”=”white bud”) on the one hand, and from its unique, velvety-sweet taste of orchid aroma (“Qilan”=”strange orchid”) reflected in the tea on the other .
“Dancong” means as much as “single bush”, representing a number of individual tea cultivars native to Guangdong’s Fehhuangshan (Phoenix Mountain) region. Of these, the Mi Lan Xiang (=”Honey Orchid Fragrance”) is not only the best known, but also the most popular one. This is because of its fine floral notes and the pronounced sweetness of honey, from which the tea takes its name. For best quality, the (half-tree) tea bushes are only picked once a year in spring (beginning of April) for a short time.
Long since, Oolong teas have no longer only been coming from the four classic regions of origin. Rather, various other tea origin regionsn have also started experimenting with the almost inexhaustible potential for processing variations that result from the broad spectrum of partial oxidation of the tea leaves. A very nice example of how this can not only work, but also create completely new, extremely beguiling taste patterns is this summer-picked tea from Darjeeling’s Demeter-certified Makaibari tea garden. Round, soft mouthfeel with overwhelming fullness without any bitterness and/or astringency even with longer steeping times. Instead, sun-drenched sweetness, a malty basic character and light hints of muscatel merge with the characteristic earthy-mineral notes of the terroir to create an overall picture that is as complex as it is harmonious.
For those interested in learning more about Oolong tea, its history and characteristic processing method, follow the link below: