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Honey Scent Wulong from Mingjian, vintage 2012, traditional processed according to Guifei style
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Guifei, also called honey scented Wulong, is a rarity among Wulong teas and is very noble and full of taste. Hence the name Guifei: highest imperial concubine. Guifei is a late development of the Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren, Show-off Tea, Five Colour Wulong or Champagne Wulong). Therefore, the rank of Empress belongs to Oriental Beauty and Guifei has to rank second to the highest imperial concubine.
As with the Oriental Beauty, the tea plantations must be infested by the small cicada Jacobiasca formosana. As a defence mechanism, the tea plant then secretes an attractant to attract the natural enemy of the cicada, a spider. This changes the ingredients in the leaves and when processed correctly, the typical honey scent is created.
The processing has its origin in Dongding. The difference to Oriental Beauty is that the tea is processed according to Dongding Style. One waits longer until the leaves are a little bit more ripe. This makes the aroma more full-bodied. Also Guifei Wulongs are sometimes roasted quite strongly, which is not done at all with Oriental Beauty.
This processing method goes back to the heavy earthquake in 1999 and the heavy typhoon in 2001. Both natural disasters hit the Dongding region very hard. The tea farmers were busy repairing the damage and therefore neglected the tea plantations. This created a good environment for the little cicada. The tea farmers took advantage of this and then developed the Guifei-Wulong based on Oriental Beauty.
The distinctive honey-scented aroma of Formosa Guifei-Wulong depends primarily on the degree of infestation of the small cicada – and of course on the processing. This Guifei is not really comparable with a real Guifei and can therefore only be called a simple honey scent Wulong. It owes its aroma not so much to the cicada infestation as to a skilful processing, which brings back memories of a Guifei. Due to the relatively high degree of oxidation and the skilful roasting, honey-like and fruity ripe aromas come to the fore even without strong cicada infestation. It is the perfect introduction to the class of honey scented wulongs if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to the more floral wulongs from Mingjian or the highlands.
Formosa Guifei-Wulong has a medium degree of roasting. The roasting process intensifies and refines the tea’s own aromas without masking its character. This is the high art of roasting, which is masterfully expressed in this Formosa Guifei-Wulong.
Due to the traditional processing, Formosa Guifei-Wulong can be stored without any problems and without losing its aroma. With increasing age, the aroma changes and develops its very own charm.
Harvest date: spring 2012
Aroma: spicy, fruity sweet with slightly tart notes, light honey notes
Oxidation: approx. 60%
Terroir: Mingjian, Nantou,Taiwan
Preparation: In this blog post you will find a description of how to brew Oolong tea in an optimal way.
Tip: The aroma in the mouth unfolds best when Formosa Guifei-Wulong is not drunk too hot. Waite until it has cooled down a little bit in the cup.
This tea is especially suitable for infusion in a large cup or a larger pot as it does not become bitter and it is very high-yielding. The infusion does not need to be poured off, simply let the tea leaves sink to the bottom.
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