Thursday, August 23, 2012
Gankou Oolong - Fresh
Place: Gankou village, south of Taiwan
Harvest: Spring 2012
Process: Semi-oxidized Oolong, rolled, lightly roasted.
Competition brewing: 3 grams for 6 minutes in a white porcelain set with boiling water.
Appearance of the dry leaves:
Greyish green. This color is explained by the salt from the ocean that is brought by strong winds. Indeed, we can see below how close the plantation is to the Pacific.
How do they survive? The researchers at the Taiwan Research and Extension Station found out that the roots of the old trees extend much deeper than elsewhere in Taiwan. The various and unidentified Wuyi tea bushes that were brought here 4/5 (tea farmer) generations ago have proved to be very adaptable.
But human effort and ingenuity also explains the resistance of this plantation. The farmers made sure that there would be high and strong trees around the tea plantation. These big trees act like a protecting barrier. And instead of using herbicides or fertilizers, we can see that the farmer puts dead wood between the rows of tea bushes. This prevents other plants from growing and provides food for the trees as they decompose.
The dry fragrance smells particularly sundried. There is no hint of freshness here! However, once brewed, the tea releases very fruity and sunny aromas. The notes are rather low and deep, though, and very different from a high mountain Oolong.
The taste is almost full body. What surprises most is a slight salty/soury taste that feels a little bit like the aftertaste of salty sea water in the mouth. Overall, there are no displeasing aromas and the brew feels natural and powerful.