This month we welcome our Organic Wuyi Oolong Tea a stunning, organic example of one of China’s most famous teas (also known as Big Red Robe, Wuyi Rock or Wuyi Mountain Tea) from the Fujian province of China.
Wuyi is the birthplace of oolong and black teas, famed for its mountain ranges and mineral-rich soils that provide a distinct terroir for growing tea bushes. Combined with thousands of years of production, passing through the hands of generations of masters, this oolong has been skilfully refined into its iconic twisted shape, dark colour, and flavour profile that is so loved worldwide today, and so distinctive of Wuyi.
This example is particularly special for two reasons. The first is that it is certified organic, which is no easy feat in a region whose production spans millennia (meaning it can be slower to transition from established farming methods to new means).
The second is that it has been lightly baked over charcoal, in contrast to other darker Wuyi Oolong examples that are baked for longer. As a result, the infusion is a wonderful amber colour (almost copper) with aromas of rich cacao, stone fruits baked in brown sugar, and a light floral note – quite like a rose bud just beginning to unfurl. These nuances in flavour are owing to the oxidation process: at only 30%, much of the leaf is still green, which is why this tea has such a fantastic balance of quenching, fresh flavour and honeyed, autumnal notes.
The taste is much the same, with a caramel sweetness, and more pronounced, just-ripe stone fruit. The feel and finish is smooth and long lasting, with a touch of astringency. Organic Wuyi Oolong tea can be enjoyed at any time, though it is common in Wuyi to spend a late afternoon after a rich lunch, savouring infusion after infusion in a long tea ceremony, paired with fruit and nuts. What a sensational way to experience the very best of Wuyi Oolong Tea, if you have the time.
Other Ways to Enjoy Organic Wuyi Oolong Tea: Tea Pairing
It is common in the province of Fujian where Wuyi Oolong is grown, to see squashes and gourds tumbling in the thickets along the lanes as you wind your way up the mountains to the tea gardens. It comes as no surprise then, that roasted squash pairs so beautifully with this tea, growing almost side by side as they do. The nutty caramel flavours cut through the richness of Chinese dishes and help aid digestion. Pictured here is a Western brunch recipe with sourdough toast topped with savoury mashed butternut squash, poached eggs with runny yolks, a crispy chilli oil and spring onions you might like to try. Wuyi Oolong is also an excellent accompaniment to fruit – particularly sticky ones like dates and figs. Why not dip fresh figs in dark chocolate, sprinkle them with crushed pistachios and serve them to guests with a tray of dark oolong like Wuyi?
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