Old Tree Black Tea – Premium from Old Ways Tea. . . . .

One of my favorite visual characteristics of various black teas are the thin, long, wiry leaves. And among my favorite flavors of black teas are the ones that are more complex, flavorful, and bold. I was thrilled when this tea proved both of my loves! The tea on tap for today is Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees, hence the name! The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal and are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu which is high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. And the soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing.

This is a gem of a black tea with a more than impressive story behind it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea. . . .

If you want to support a family business, tea from Old Ways Tea offers you an opportunity to do just that. The owner of Old Ways Tea is originally from the Wuyi mountains in China, but lives in the US. The only tea sold is based upon what the family farm in China is able to produce that year. If you watch the site regularly, you can also sign up for the newsletter to provide you updates with harvest season!

Visually, the Old Tree Black Tea looks like your standard black tea with large leaves for brewing. Old Tree tea is picked from trees that are allowed to grow much larger than most tea crops. Since they are so large, their roots extend far into the soil and are able to bring a different layer of minerals and nutrients to the leaves which impact the flavor profile. For Old Ways Tea’s Old Tree tea, the additional minerals have resulted in a nice smooth flavor. It is lighter than most black teas, and it would be great as a starter black tea if you are more of a white or green tea person. My morning cuppa almost always consist of a black tea and I found the Old Tree Black Tea was best with no alteration from sweeteners or cream. Though I did enjoy it with sugar and cream, it tasted best straight from the teapot. For me, this was a tea that was best enjoyed hot.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Style Black Tea from Old Ways Tea. . . .

A telltale nagging in my throat tells me a cold is underway. So I needed the toughest, most bracing tea out there.

Enter: WILD STYLE BLACK TEA.

You know, a RUGGED, BUTCH, RICH tea that’ll sharply inform my immune system HOW IT IS DONE. No mix-ins. Just the STRAIGHT-UP REAL DEAL. The sort of situation that calls for the CAPS LOCK BUTTON

This tea has a thick and smooth flavor. It’s manly, but in a calming, non-smoky way. It tastes like berries, and growth, and getting a tan. It tastes like soil in softening in preparation for spring. It tastes like a cute man in leather winking at you. It tastes like a winding car ride on perfectly paved road.

It tastes like a glorious warrior defeating a sniveling cold.

I hope.

Fingers crossed.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This wild style black tea is from high mountains above Tongmu village located in the Wuyishan Biodiversity Protection area. A strong but clean floral fragrance is present. The tea is described as wild style due to the conditions in which the trees are allowed to grow. The trees are by no means wild, they are still intentionally grown from known cultivars, but are spaced more widely and allowed to grow more how they please. They are not forced into the neat rows that make cutting more efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yellow Goddess of Mercy from Old Ways Tea . . .

This tea sample came to me in a crisp, red and gold package with simple, symbolic instructions and the tea’s name: Huang Guan Yin or Yellow Goddess of Mercy. With a name like that, it certainly felt special to crack the seal on the red and gold foil and pour the lovely dark tea leaves into my teapot.  The dry leaves smelled faintly musky, like newly-turned earth, but were otherwise very mild.

I did a little more research on brewing tips beyond the information on the package and found that this is a wuji oolong, meant to be steeped for a short period of time over a few sessions.

For the first brew, the leaves quickly turned the water dark.  The brew smelled toasty and rich, like caramel and burnt sugar.  I always tend to associate oolongs with the fruity, floral, green notes, but then I encounter a tea like this, heavily oxidized, and am reminded that some oolongs can be just as bold and dark as black teas.

Upon further steeping, the brew has stronger sweet rice and breakfast cereal tones among all the toasty caramel notes.  The mouthfeel gets smoother with each steep, and brings out a oddly fruity note, a bit like raisins.  Beneath all these flavors there is a musky depth, slightly sour and reminiscent of tobacco.

This was a delicious bold oolong, rich and full of complex and tasty flavors.  Though the tea itself isn’t yellow, I still love the name, Yellow Goddess of Mercy.  Have mercy on yourself after a long day and have a tea session with this oolong to help bring you comfort and solace.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Old Ways Tea
Description:

Also known as 105 this tea is a cross between Tie Guan Yin and Huang Jin Gui. The name Huang Guan Yin means Yellow Goddess of Mercy. This is the newest Wuyi oolong cultivar, having been introduced in 2003 by the Fujian Tea Research Institute.

Huang Guan Yin is interesting since in many ways it is one of the least traditional of the teas being produced in the Wuyi mountains. It is newly developed, and has genetic origins outside the original mountains. At the same time it is often packaged in a bag reading “Da Hong Pao” and processed in the same manner as the other Wuyi teas. The interplay between new and old provides for an interesting experience. Personally, I greatly enjoy this tea and when I can not decide which to brew will grab a bag of Huang Guan Yin.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ye Sheng Hong Cha Wild Style Black Tea from Old Ways Tea . . . . .

It has been a long time since I have had a Wild Style Black tea. I had forgotten just how good – and how unusual – it is.

The first time I had a purple tea, I was a tea noob and made it just like most average black breakfast teas. It was terrible! And it was all my fault. Fortunately I learned how to make it properly very soon after, plus there was a nice reminder of the right way to treat these leaves on the package.

The water temperature is lower and the steep time is even shorter than the last Wild Style I made. It made me wonder if I was really going to get all the flavor out of these leaves. It is pretty light in color for a black tea when steeped, but have no fear. It is not light on flavor.

The first thought when I sipped was, “Wow, what is that? It is so familiar but I can’t pin it down.” After lots of soul searching, I came up with…a warm and mellow citrus, not sharp like lemon but more like orange, plus a light cassia cinnamon flavor. Honey. And a hint of floral notes. So many layers of flavor dancing and sparkling in this cup! Not heavy at any time, light bodied, and complex.

This is one to be enjoyed, paid attention to, not to be downed with an onion bagel while you rush out the door. Treat it like a tea experience, and really get to know all the flavors! I would love to hear what other people get out of it.

It is a real champion in the re-steeping department, too, delivering quite a few excellent steeps with good flavor before weakening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This wild style black tea is from high mountains above Tongmu village located in the Wuyishan Biodiversity Protection area. A strong but clean floral fragrance is present. The tea is described as wild style due to the conditions in which the trees are allowed to grow. The trees are by no means wild, they are still intentionally grown from known cultivars, but are spaced more widely and allowed to grow more how they please. They are not forced into the neat rows that make cutting more efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!