Aged Heirloom Oolong Tea - 1976

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Rhubarb, Sap, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco, Citrus, Fruity, Medicinal, Wood, Floral, Leather, Licorice
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by mcrdotcom
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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From Taiwan Sourcing

Before the 1980s the "Emerald Island" (aka Taiwan) had a remarkable history of exporting its tea to the global market. From green tea, oolong tea, to black tea, this island satisfied tea merchants and lovers all over the world. There was this kind of tea called "Fan Zhuang Wu Long" (番莊烏龍) which was particularly popular to the exporting tea market. It was heavily oxidized almost like black tea and had very significant nectar like taste.

But everything started changing after the government of Taiwan – Republic of China, exited the United Nations following the industrialization and the appreciation of New Taiwan Dollar in the 1970s. All these factors seriously affected the exportation of Taiwanese teas. As a result, the importance of Taiwanese tea began fading away from the global stage. Until today, a lot of tea lovers are still strange to what many consider to be the most refined oolongs in the world.

This tea is a remnant of that golden era in Taiwan tea exportation. It carries the memory of the Taiwanese tea industry of the past 40 years. With all that time having passed by, this tea has transformed itself into a different matter entirely. The aroma has a bit of sourness like some old tea has, but not only does it not taste sour, it rather reacts very much like delicious Chinese medicine with a smooth and round body which can easily sooth one’s mind.

With a very limited quantity we can acquire, we are not only savoring this 1976 heirloom oolong for its flavor, but also to witness a mark of that splendid moment in Taiwanese tea history.

Harvest: 1976

Varietal: Unknown / 不知

Elevation: Unknown

Region: North part of Taiwan

Oxidation Level: 65%

Roast Level: 0

Brewing Guide: We suggest using about 7 grams in a small yixing pot (150ml or so). We didn’t throw away the rinse as it indicates the purity of how it was stored. First round was 15 seconds then added 15-30 seconds or so for the first 7 infusions. Then steep many minutes if you like.

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5 Tasting Notes

21 tasting notes

Very enjoyable, cleanly aged, elegant, great mouthfeel, flavorful, smooth, dynamic, beautiful and intact leaves — right on the money, really. Many positives, the obvious downside is the $1.40/g (and up) price tag, there is no free lunch. The second negative is that it loses steam and dimensions faster than I’d like at this price tag. Now obviously some tea from this years harvest cost more per gram, so hard to complain for 40 years of storage.. But for my palate as a casual oolong drinker, the value proposition of mid-2000s oolong seems superior.

Is it a good tea? Yes. Is it worth the money? Yes. Should you try it? Yes.

Will I buy more? No.

7 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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521 tasting notes

I’m going to be leaving town soon, and I knew I had to try this before I left. This tea is beautiful, and I am most grateful for an opportunity to try. The leaves are long, intact, and graciously delicate. I gave them a whiff and picked up some dried and fermented fruit tones. I warmed my gaiwan up, and I got ready to brew these treasures up. I placed a fairly decent amount in my warmed gaiwan, and I let them sit. I sat back in my chair and took time to think about what this tea really is. This is a historical brew. This tea has seen more time than I have, and it has stayed intact and ready to be enjoyed. I love the idea of drinking a piece of history. I love the thought that this tea has sat waiting for decades, and it decided to show up on my doorstep. I returned back from my daydreams and lifted the gaiwan lid. I picked up so many complex tones. The aroma began with a sweet plum and then quickly moved into a spiced persimmon. This scent carried into smoothed mahogany with some candied rhubarb. The steam scents ended with some ripe pipe tobacco and remnants of tree sap. I sat for quite some time to take in this buffet of scents. I washed the leaves, and I drank the rinse. The rinse had a nice body, clean sweetness, and was subtly tangy. In my opinion, the drink itself was more for the experience rather than the taste. This is not to say that this tea tasted poorly, for it was an exquisite flavor profile. However, I have had more palette pleasing sessions. The taste begins with sweet candied dark fruit and light aged wood. This brew is subtle yet a full mouth-feel. I picked up a sweet twisted tang on the tongue after every sip. The brew moves from antiquated woods to dried red fruits. The mid session brings about a nice lasting sweetness with rustic tobacco flavors. Oddly, this brew faintly reminds me of a higher quality Old Bear Fangcha (W2T). The flavor drops off incredibly slowly and becomes sweeter and smoother. This brew is spectacularly smooth and clean throughout the entire session. I’m amazed at how this has been stored so purely for such a long span of time. The tea lasts forever and can brewed over and over. I was able to let it steep and walk away without any bitterness or astringency occurring. The final note is about the qi. The feeling this tea gifted me is something phenomenal. There is a slight and subtle feeling at the get-go. The sensation begins in the head and repeatedly rushes the body with a wave of warmth. The feeling then moves into a more whimsical flight prescience. Afterwards, the sensation calms the body and gives a debilitating effect. Finally, the sensations circulates throughout body. I experience a deep warmth and uplifted feeling. I loved this tea, and I’m grateful to experience it. I usually don’t ramble, but I always want to give the good ones their proper spotlight.

Flavors: Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Rhubarb, Sap, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1113 tasting notes

Right now I am sitting down with a lot of tea in front of me and Christmas cards… who would have guessed that I’d spend over $100 to send tea to people I never met just to bring joy to others during the holiday seasons?
Not me.
Anyways, I decided to pull out something special while I package up some of my favorite teas because holidays are meant to show that you care not just that you can; so goodbye to a few of my favorites.

You’re wondering what this taste like? It taste like you need to go buy some :p


That’s very nice of you!


The art of snail mail is in great danger of being lost—glad to see people who still recognize the value of an unexpected (personal) card in the mailbox!

Daylon R Thomas

That is awesome! And I told you: Taiwan Sourcing Oolongs are amazing.

Daylon R Thomas

(Nevermind your the one that had you sights on them.) Was it everything you expected it to be?

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26 tasting notes

I brewed 7 grams in a purple clay yixing tea pot. Drank the rinse…had to…

I like shorter steeps…then rode the tea over 10 rounds. Considering the history of this tea it is more simply an honor to brew and the tastes are excellent yet the overall experience is just so nostalgic.

Give it a try if you like tasting history.

Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Medicinal, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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19 tasting notes

4g brewed in a 60mL gaiwan.

Smell and taste are reminiscent of aged sheng funnily enough… I think I would call this a hybrid between oolong and aged sheng.

I can taste the age for sure, which comes through in leather and wood. Subtle hints of fruit and florals linger in the background. The wet leaves smell sweet, medicinal, woody and leathery. It reminds me of a dry forest in autumn or an old library of leather bound books (but no mustiness per-say) both in smell and taste.

Mouthfeel is thick in a gaiwan, but I’m sure it will be thicker in Yixing clay. This tea will steep many times with a nice qi.

Overall a must have for any tea lover, especially those who enjoy fine oolongs and puerhs.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Leather, Licorice, Medicinal, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

This review made me drool!!

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