Monday, July 23, 2012

RED - Red Extreme Delight

Cultivar: Qingxin (luanze) Oolong
Origin: Mojiang, Yunnan
Elevation: 1700 meters
Harvested by hand in spring 2012
Process: fully oxidized, red tea.

The dark, striped dry leaves exhale  naturally fruity aromas. These fragrances are high pitched like the sounds of a violin. This is pretty unusual for a hung cha (red tea). And not only are the fragrances high pitched, but they feel very pure.

To test this tea, I'm using just boiled water and a porcelain gaiwan.
The brew is shiny and transparent.

The aromas are so vividly fragrant and light. It's amazing. When was the last time I had such a great red tea? I can only think of the 2007 'perfect' Oriental Beauty as somewhat similar in its perfume like quality.

As for the taste, this RED tea provides more Extreme Delight: a powerful, well balanced Cha qi that brings energy and comfort to the whole body. The aftertaste is pleasant and very long lasting. And, very important, the mouth remains bright and clean. 

With some teas, the bright notes only last for one or 2 brews, but with this tea, I'm amazed how the high notes manage to keep up so well.

The open leaves show that the oxidation was 'rare', still greenish inside. The oxidation tried (and succeeded) to retain the lightest fragrances from these leaves. We can better see now that this high mountain red contains many buds and young leaves.
We better understand that everything in this tea concurs to make the tea with the lightest and purest fragrance:
- low yield, high quality cultivar that grows well in high altitude (= qingxin/luanze Oolong)
- a new plantation (with healthy soil) in high altitude (here in Yunnan),
- spring harvest of buds and young leaves, because they are are the most fragrant,
- a careful oxidation process that retains the qualities of these leaves.

This tea shines its bright light everywhere.
Red Extreme Delight 

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