Wednesday, January 24, 2018

2018 Dong Pian

The first Oolong of 2018 is here already thanks to a warm January in central Taiwan!

Cultivar: Si Ji Chun

Origin: Mingjian in Nantou county

Harvested by machine on January 11th, 2018

Process: lightly oxidized Oolong, rolled, dried but not roasted.

Here, I brew 5 grams in a mini gaiwan and drink it in Michel François's celadon cup. The idea behind this choice of ware is that this is a light, everyday Oolong that can be drunk in a big cup without the complexity of having several small cups. I also prefer this setup to using a chahai (pitcher) and a cup, since having a big cup means only 1 transfer (gaiwan to cup) instead of 2 (gaiwan to chahai to cup) and this means less heat loss.
Besides, the celadon color for the gaiwan and the cup enhances and clarifies the fresh hue of the brew. This is a good fit for a freshly harvested and lightly oxidized Oolong. The green chabu with plum flowers is a symbol for the resilient plants that grow during winter and give their finest scents. The late winter, Dong Pian harvest produces the sweetest and lightest aromas of Si Ji Chun of the year! (The reason is simple: the winter weather conditions in Mingjian are similar to spring in the high mountains: sunshine during the day and cool temperatures at night).
And, in the picture above, we can see that the leaves have some red edges: the oxidation level isn't too green and this also explains the sweetness of the brew. 
Si Ji Chun sums up well the weather in Taiwan: it's always spring, green and full of life!

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