Sparrow Tongue Wuyi 2018
This heirloom cultivar has been growing in the Wuyi Mountains for hundreds of years. Que She tea bushes are slow growing and have a lower yield than others. For this reason it is difficult to find it sold outside of China, where it is prized for its rich flavor that is similar to the original Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe).
There are many steps to make this tea (outlined below) each of which contributes to the final flavor and appearance. This tea brews a sweet, fragrant cup with a moderately roasted flavor. Well balanced with a lingering finish. Yields multiple infusions.
- Origin: Wuyi Shan, Fujian, China
- Cultivar: Que She (Sparrow Tongue)
- harvest: 2nd week of May
- Picking Standard: 1 young leaf + 2 full leaves
- Tea Master: Shi Ying
- Ingredients: Oolong tea
Here is a brief outline of the major processing steps of this tea:
- Leaves are picked (within a 3-5 day window) then withered in the sun for a couple of hours.
- The main oxidation occurs after the leaves are moved inside onto round bamboo trays. The tea master agitates the leaves every 8-12 hours allowing the leaves to darken (oxidize)
- Once the leaves have oxidized just the right amount, they are fired to stop this enzymatic process then machine-kneaded to obtain the long, twisted shape.
- Now that the tea is almost complete, the tea master roasts it above bamboo charcoal for about four hours then rested for 20-30 days before a final roasting of 2-3 hours.