14 February 2008

Taiwan Wild-grown Oolong Cultivar White Tea?

This tea may not be exactly what the title says. When I received this tea in Taiwan from a friend, he said it was hand-picked from bushes found growing wild outside an oolong plantation. The tea was processed like white tea. Unrolled, unstriped, greenish brown and brittle, the leaves appear like they were dried and underwent no further processing. They're quite pretty, but they were loaded into the packaging as a tangled clump that conformed to the shape of the box. In the picture below, what I mean about the processing reveals itself.

Taiwan Wild Oolong - dry leaves

Because I know too little about this tea to brew it in an unglazed pot, I brewed it in my antique gaiwan. The dry leaves smell of nothing; the steam off the rinsed leaves carried aromas of raisins and carob. The flavor and color of the liquor were both very light. In fact, this tea emphasizes its texture more than anything else--light and gelatinous on the tongue, but sticky all the way down the throat. After I finished swallowing a cup, it felt as though it still was travelling down my throat.

Taiwan Wild Oolong - liquor

What flavor there was was carob, underlined by some yeasty or baked note and a hint of staleness. No matter how long I brewed it, the flavors were of consistent strength and never did they become bitter or sour.

The energy of the tea was soft, maybe a bit inactive. Easy to drink and eassy to brew, I enjoyed this tea Still, I wonder how much they would charge for this tea because of its wild, hand-crafted nature. It appears to be a production of the Wushing publishing group's tea brand, with similar imagery as I saw on their aged fo shou oolong and on productions by Huang Chan Fang.

Taiwan Wild Oolong - spent leaves

The packaging is below. So if someone who knows Chinese, e.g. Imen or MarshalN, can offer more clues as to what this tea really is, I'd appreciate it.

UPDATE [22 Feb 2008]: Translation provided by Imen:

"Name: Shen Nong Yi Ye Piao - Shen Nong one leaf drift

Shen Nong as most of people know is the first person to discover the medicinal property of tea as a detoxin. Why this name? Shen Nong was an herbalist at his time, tasting many plants each day. One day a leaf dropped into a pot of water he was boiling. He drank that tea and felt revitalized. The tea he drank neutralized 72 types of toxins. Since then he became "acquainted" with tea. This tea is processed with a simple roast drying method to commemorate Shen Nong and his discovery of tea in its original wild form. Simple and refreshing. Brew with large pot or boil in hot water to drink."


wild oolong box

wild oolong tags

4 comments:

Wes said...

Where are all ze picshures?

Imen said...

Direct translation:

Name: Shen Nong Yi Ye Piao - Shen Nong one leaf drift

Shen Nong as most of people know is the first person to discover the medicinal property of tea as a detoxin.

Why this name:
Shen Nong was an herbalist at his time, taste many plants each day. One day a leaf dropped into a pot of water he's boiling, he drank that tea and felt revitalized. The tea he drank neutralized 72 types of toxins. Since then he became
"acquainted" with tea.

This tea is process with simple roast drying method to commemorate Shen Nong and his discovery of tea at its original wild form. Simple and refreshing. Brew with large pot or boil in hot water to drink.

toki said...

Is this the same as Tawian, Pang Lam White Hair oolong?

Space Samurai said...

I love that picture of the dry leaves. There aren't words for it. I keep coming back to your blog just to look at it. Most of your pictures make me green with envy. Thanks for excellent work.