Laoshan Roasted Oolong
“With notes of scotch, roasted barley and melted chocolate, this world premiere harvest from the He family transcends the boundaries between black tea and roasted oolong to reach new levels of complexity . . .
Mr. He is extremely proud of his oxidized teas. He is the only farmer in the whole village of Laoshan who has mastered the art of creating the rich malt chocolate flavor that the tea can yield. He is able to produce such incredible tea because of the labor he puts into the process. In addition to meticulous chemical-free farming and hand picking before dawn, Mr. He adds the traditional three day sun roasting oxidation to this tea for a truly full body. Next, he sets aside a full eight hour day of hand-tossing the leaves over extremely low heat to create the enzymatic reaction that defines oolong.
The full four day process from picking to finishing that created this batch of less than thirty pounds is well worth it. The flavor is uniquely sweet and citrusy like pineapple with cinnamon caramel notes usually only seen in budset Yunnan black teas.
Of course chocolate notes similar to Laoshan black come through strong, but there is a potent aftertaste akin to highlands scotch, and a thick wheat bread aroma. As the tea continues to steep out, dark florals come through to add texture to the creamy potato base flavors. The malty notes are reminiscent of Tibetan tsampa, made from roasted fresh barley mixed with butter tea, and eaten for its sustaining properties at such altitude and extreme cold.
We hope that you enjoy Mr. He’s master experiment as much as we do. Mr. He wants to make oolong an important part of the tea craft in his village, so this will likely be the first of many seasons of history-making experimentation in tea making.