Tuesday, October 06, 2020

From cool spring to cool autumn

It's almost 6 months since the spring Oolongs have come out! Soon, the winter harvests will start. (Actually, they should be called fall harvests, since they happen before December 21st. But it's not the case, because tea can be harvested every 55 days approximately, which means there's time for a harvest in June/July, summer, and another in August/September, fall, before the last harvest of the year in October/November, which is therefore called winter). 

So, my 2019 top Hung Shui Oolong from Shan Lin Xi is from the mirror season of October. It's at the same sweet spot between the 2 seasons Taiwan has: hot summers and cool winters. The in-between seasons of spring and autumn are actually quite short here. That's also what makes the teas of these 2 seasons so special and similar. They are made when it's just warm enough to grow and cool at night to preserve a maximum of freshness.
But the Hong Shui is the traditional roasting process that adds a deep touch of warmth without destroying the underlying freshness or 'greenness' of the Oolong. Here again it's a kind of in-between state: between fresh and full roast. The magic is to achieve a bold flavor that is harmonious and that combines the energy of the mountain with the fire of the roast. (See the deep color of brew!)
And since it comes from Shan Lin Xi, this roasted Oolong also has a special finesse and fragrance. And its aromas stay on the palate in a very satisfying manner. It's perfect for the season, because it's just at this balance between hot and cold, between summer and winter, between a need for cooling or warming. It's the time of extreme balance! A great tea is always a living paradox!
Reminder: join me on Facebook this Friday 10 PM for a new tea class about "Tea and Zen".

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