Lo-Shan Hong ShuiFloating Leaves Tea
This is a GABA Hongshui grown in Shi-Ding, Taiwan and charcoal roasted by our teacher Mr Zhan. This is the third harvest of Hongshui that we’ve had from this farmer, and it shows off his exceptional skill.
The farmer who made this tea is an oolong artist. When we asked Mr Zhan how he sees this compared to the Lala Shan, he said the beauty of the Lala Shan comes from the land it was grown on, and the beauty of the Lo Shan comes from the person behind the tea.
When we purchased this batch of Hong Shui from our charcoal roasting teacher, we bought it blind. Of course we trust our teacher to send us something good, so we didn't ask if it was from Lala Shan or Shi Ding. So the first time tasting it, all we knew was we were tasting a GABA Hong Shui roasted by our teacher. After tasting a couple of infusions, the feeling was so expansive, soft and warming I thought it was Lala Shan tea for sure. But with more careful tasting sessions I started to change my mind because of the detailed structure and dramatic changes of the broth over the course of infusions.
The overall feeling of this batch -- roasted in November -- is comforting. The broth is round and soft, with a wide sense of space that gives it beautiful clarity.
When we first got this one it wasn't easy to pin down. The broth felt lighter than what we're used to, not as dramatic as the previous batch (which I described as a ballerina coming out on stage, taking a bow to a room full of quiet anticipation, and then the music starts and the dancing begins).
After a few sessions that tasted good but not amazing, we ended up letting the tea brew for an extended amount of time. Really pushing the tea broth. This resulted in a big, soft, deeply comforting broth that immediately wrapped the throat in warmth and extended into the body.
The flavor notes are clear and seamlessly lead into one another. Caramel, dark dried fruit, dried herbs, all the way into delicate floral tones at the top end. Broth is rich and gentle, and leaves a long aftertaste. As it goes to the throat it begins to expand and melt into the body. Delicious and calming.
This is not necessarily a dramatic tea, but it is big and very soft. The main word is comforting, like a warm blanket (comforter) first thing in the morning when you don't want to get out of bed.
We've had the best results by stretching the brew time a little bit, and in that case you can use a lot less leaf per session. And as with most good oolong, heat is key to bring out the finesse at the floral end of the aroma spectrum.
- Harvest Location : Shi-Ding, Xinbei, Taiwan
- Roast Date : November 2020
- Altitude : 700 Meters