The birthplace of Wuyi cliff tea (yancha), in northern Fujian Province, is a stunning national park. Oolong tea was created here in the 1600s; the mineral-rich, volcanic soil is an ideal environment for the plants. Production within the park is carefully monitored, and only a fraction of Wuyi oolongs available come from this original location. This cultivar, tieluohan, was one of the first types grown.
After hand-picking, the tea undergoes a labor-intensive process of rolling and slowly drying; a series of roasts, taking place over a period of several months or years, requires great skill and patience by the producers.
The resulting large, wiry leaves unfurl over many infusions, relinquishing an aroma of blackberries and charcoal, with deep and smooth flavors of roasted nuts and honey. A distinctive clarity lingers through the powerful aftertaste; this is a tea that warms as though sitting in front of a fireplace.
Region: Fujian Province
Tasting Notes: pecan, buckwheat honey, roast corn
Harvest Season: Spring 2013