Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
One of the purest teas available on the world market.
Organic Wuyi Rock Oolong is one of the purest teas available on the world market. This rare oolong hails from Mount Wuyi in Nanping Prefecture, Fujian, up along the border of Jiangxi Province. In 1999, UNESCO listed the mountain as a World Heritage Site in part owing to its outstanding biodiversity. According to the UN, Mount Wuyi is one of the world’s finest, intact, subtropical forests. Further complimenting the region’s reputation, Mount Wuyi is registered with the Chinese government as a biodiversity conservation zone. The climate of the region is relatively humid due to the fact that the mountain prevents cool air from entering the valley, and the presence of the 9 Bend River meandering through its valleys. Living with this subtropical paradise is an almost unaccountable number of species of flora and fauna. Many of the plan species living on the mountain are considered relics of a bygone age, no longer found anywhere else on the planet. In amongst this jewel of biodiversity grows the world famous organic rock tea. The tea bushes, like many other plant species, are ancient, having grown amongst the mountain’s rocky outcroppings for generations. Cultivation of the plants is almost impossible given the topography, so exceptional care is taken when handling and plucking the fresh tea shoots. The harvesters typically wear light cotton gloves when handling the leaves, which are harvested in small quantities so as not to tire the bushes. The fresh leaf is then allowed to naturally semi-ferment. The resulting flavor is at once rich, delicate, and laden with floral nuance.
This is an outstanding Oolong tea.
The dry leaf has a nutty scent with woody tones. As it brews, the nutty fragrance develops, but even stronger is a smoky aroma. This worried me at first, because smoky teas and I don’t always get along… but really, once I tasted it I needn’t have worried. The smoke flavor is there, but it is oh-so-subtle and it melds harmoniously with the roasted nutty flavor.
The tea has a charming sweetness to it with subtle notes of spice in the background. There is also a distant fruit note that is a bit like peach, a typical characteristic of well-oxidized Oolongs such as this one.
I love the smooth, well-rounded flavor of this tea. The mouthfeel is light and silky, but it lingers well into the aftertaste because there is very little astringency to this Oolong.
A truly wonderful Oolong – and the first tea I’ve tasted from Shanti Tea… if this tea is representative of what I have to look forward to from Shanti, I am very excited, indeed!