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Buddha Hand & 'Special Roast' Dong Ding

Buddha Hand & 'Special Roast' Dong Ding

New teas from the recent trip to Taiwan...

We met with a lot of new farmers and makers, and only selected a few into our lineup. One of those new sources produced this excellent, organically grown Buddha Hand! A tasty roasted tea with plenty of aging potential. Buddha Hand is a cultivar that, when treated properly, can produce a rich fruity aroma and thick body. It's a very fun cultivar, with the giant leaves that you can observe in the above picture.

We are very proud to carry this one. The farmer has the goal of 'giving the tea garden back to nature'. This plot was converted from a bamboo forest to a tea garden about 7 years ago, and he is utilizing natural farming techniques to return a sustainable bounty for many generations. We were lucky to procure a decent amount of this tea! He has single customers that buy 10 pounds or more for personal use, with the plan of aging long term! In other words, he would have no trouble selling this tea retail, so we are very grateful that he would share with us. The tea has a sweet aroma and open, airy feel that reflects its natural farming.

The other tea is a Dong Ding with a story. This tea was a product of me getting covid when I was in Taiwan. I wasn't able to visit Dong Ding at the same time as a close tea friend, the man who introduced us to Farmer Su. So our friend went up to Dong Ding on his own. He had a strong intention to find a bold bodied tea base and ask Mrs Su to roast it a bit extra. He spent days tasting through different crops of tea from the Su's friends and relations to find the perfect tea that could handle a deeper roast. Our friend takes a very exacting approach to tea and taste.

I wouldn't have thought to do this, because we are so fond of the Traditonal A already. When he finished the first batch he excitedly picked up the phone to give me a call, and said that it was fantastic! Rich fruity aroma and full bodied mouthfeel. This is the Special Roast Dong Ding. It is from a different garden from the Traditional A, and the feel is  more solid and composed, with a fruit forward approach. So we decided to carry both concurrently. Although all of our traditional Dong Ding teas are well suited to aging, this 'Special Roast' was made with the forethought that it would keep for many years and improve with age. It is tasting fantastic now, but we are looking forward to May of this year when we feel it will be more integrated and smooth. Then we are also planning on setting aside some to age for the long term. Grand Reserve 'Special Roast' Dong Ding in ten years? Maybe...

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