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Presenting one of our most exclusive teas from the Manipur old tree region, the Charcoal Roasted Wild Oolong from Spring 2022 harvest! We made the first batch in 2019 and it has been a steep learning curve since. We have finally arrived at this level of refinement starting 2020 when we modified the roasting process and eliminated smoke absorption completely. We continue to tweak it a little every year. This year, we have gone back to using bigger leaves for this tea as we felt that leads to a more energetic cup and we've been loving it! Works especially well in our Indian Red Clay Gaiwan. Another interesting thing about this tea is that we have made the 2022 Manipur Young Tree Oolong on the same day and from younger plants in the same area as well, so that will be an interesting comparison to make! We have rested this one for only 3 months this year instead of the usual 6 months and while we feel it is ready for consumption, we also feel this will give you a nice perspective on the way the taste drastically transforms in the first year of this tea.

 

This tea is withered in the sun and then in shade after which it undergoes yáo qīng(process of shaking the leaves to bruise the edges) for 5 mins each hour overnight, the leaves are then pan fried for 15 minutes and handrolled on a bamboo tray. After the hand rolling comes the process which makes this tea so unique, it is ball rolled inside cotton cloth and left like that for at least 2 hours giving it the distinctive twisted leaf appearance. Upon completion it is oxidised for 3 hours. After the oxidation, it is sun dried and finally charcoal roasted.

 

The dry leaf has notes of Indian gooseberry, slightly tangy right now because its very young. We expect this to become much sweeter after some more resting in our storage. The wet leaf has an earthy aroma after the rinse. The first infusion has a honey and sugarcane note with a hint of pepper on the finish. The second one is much sweeter with the sugarcane note being more prominent, there are also notes of guava and mango on the finish. They carry on to the very long aftertaste which has been a signature of 2022 Spring harvest from Manipur, especially the oolongs. Second infusion onwards, you start to feel the liquor having a thick mouthfeel which evenly coats your throat, we find that experience very comforting and it adds to the deliciousness. The third infusion is pretty similar, with the addition of a pear like note along with sugarcane, guava and mango. The aftertaste, along with being fruity, also leaves a betel leaf taste in the mouth. The fourth infusion has hints of caramel and honey, yet again with a fruity finish. Fifth infusion onwards, the caramel and honey notes intensify while the fresh fruit notes subside and later remain just in the aftertaste. Our feeling with these very special teas from Manipur is that, it is always more about how these tastes come together in the thick liquor the tea makes, than the individual notes. It is like the perfect set of ingredients coming together to make something much more than just the sum of its products! We hope you enjoy this tea we are excited the most about, every year!

 

Appearance : Yellow

Taste : Honey, sugarcane, mango, guava, Indian gooseberry, caramel, betel leaf, pear

Steeping Time : 3 minutes western style, 25 seconds gongfu style adding 5 seconds every subsequent steep
Leaf to water ratio :  0.6 gram per 100ml for western style, 4.25 grams per 100ml for gongfu style

Recommended Steeping Temperature : 100°C

Recommended Steeping Method : Works better gongfu style

Harvest Season : Spring 2022

2022 Charcoal Roasted Wild Oolong

₹1,200.00Price

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