Very lightly oxidized (less than 10%), these leaves are dark glossy green and mostly still intact, with 3-4 attractive serrated leaves on each stem uncurling impressively to fill up the steeping vessel and infuse an amber liquor with a wonderful woody-nutty aroma.
Well-suited to refined tastes, it is less sweet than most of our teas, yet still has a rich velvety mouth-feel. Dominated by buttery-nutty flavors at the front, complimented by minor malty and astringent layers which are mostly overpowered by a bouquet of floral notes including dandelion and vanilla, and eventually superseded by cedar, almond, pomegranate, and melon tones which linger with only a hint of dryness.
“Tung Ting” translates as “Frozen Summit,” the name of the mountain where these leaves are grown. This tea demonstrates that appearances can be deceiving – it is rolled into relatively large, loose balls (typically considered to indicate lower quality than small, tight rolls), many of which contain large woody stems (perhaps looking rough and unsightly to Westerners more accustomed to ground leaves in tea bags) – but it is one of the finest and tastiest teas that we carry.
It is not only the unique terroir which makes these leaves exceptional, but also the inclusion of the stems, providing much of the nutty tones as well as improving the health benefits of the tea, much like the famous Japanese “Kukicha” (“twig tea”). Hotter and longer steeping will infuse the stems more, though it will also cause leaves to become more bitter.
Oolong teas, situated somewhere between green and black categories, are very flexible, and may be steeped hotter or cooler, longer or shorter, to produce different but equally delicious cups. Please experiment to find what you like best! We also recommend that you re-steep these leaves at least once, to fully appreciate the many nuances, or to try it in the traditional Chinese method – a series of small cups steeped first for 30 seconds, then an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent re-steeping. Enjoy 5 or more small cups, note the change in aroma and flavor profile as the leaves unfurl and infuse little by little.
Both Garry and Tyler count this as their favorite BCT tea!
Steeping Time – 3-6 Minutes
Water Temp – 180-200 F
Perfectly processed tea leaves from Luku Township, Taiwan.