Tea production in Taiwan began after a mass migration of millions of people from China during the middle of the 19th Century. The migrants brought tea cultivars and oolong processing knowledge from Southern Fujian to Nantou, Taiwan. The style of tea produced was a medium-oxidized, medium-roasted, globe-shaped oolong that mimicked the Iron Goddess styles of tea of Southern Fujian. These teas are the roots of Taiwanese oolong production. Despite the evolving tea oolong industry, some producers make oolong tea the old way, even though it is no longer fashionable.
I however love the flavors that come from the mix of terroir and cultivar when mixed with these age-old processing techniques. Too often tea producers make less labor intensive, light-oxidized, light-roasted tea that strictly highlights the floral characteristics of the tea leaf. Roasting the tea properly is similar to roasting coffee. The goal is to develop a roasted flavor throughout the tea, not scorch the outside, while leaving the inside “raw.” I fear that over time that these old style teas will disappear, so I’m proud to support what I believe are truly amazing teas that require a delicate hand to make.
Kilogram is offering two different traditional roast teas this year. The first was our Jade Oolong Traditional Roast which is made from the Cui Yu (Jade Oolong) cultivar. Our second was produced from the Jin Xuan (Day Lily) cultivar. Often used to make a style of oolong known as “milk tea,” Jin Xuan is a versatile cultivar that lends a distinctive fruity flavor to whichever style of tea it is made from. Our traditionally roasted version is sweet, and fruity with a pleasant nuttiness from the roasting process.
In a gaiwan rinse 7 grams of tea with 210°F water. Fill the gaiwan and steep for 60 seconds. Steep a second infusion for 45 seconds, and a third for another full 60 seconds. Jade Oolong Traditional Roast makes an excellent cold-steeped tea.