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Seasonal Tea — 2017

2017 Vietnam Reserve

Doug Palas 2017 Black Tea Vietnam

2017 Vietnam Reserve

With over 2000 years of tea production, Vietnam is one of the oldest tea producing countries in the world. It is also the 6th largest producer, yet it is overlooked as a major tea producing country. Unfortunately most of the tea in Vietnam is machine-harvested, machine processed for use in low cost iced tea and tea bag blends. It is rare to find great hand-picked Vietnamese teas outside Vietnam. Six or seven years ago I tasted a sample of an outstanding black tea that reminded me of Darjeeling or a high-grown Shi Lankan tea. It was sweet and floral with...

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2017 Iron Goddess of Mercy

Doug Palas 2017 China High Mountain Hubei oolong tea

2017 Iron Goddess of Mercy

Iron Goddess of Mercy is one of the most recognizable types of oolong - the name alone makes it memorable. Unfortunately its legacy is being tarnished to the point that tea producers of Iron Goddess from just a few decades wouldn’t be able to recognize the transformation in flavor that it has undergone in such a short period of time.  Tie quan yin, or Iron Goddess of Mercy is both a cultivar and tea process. Many different legends tell of the origin, but it’s widely accepted the tie quan yin cultivar first appeared in Anxi County in Fujian, China. Iron...

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2017 Yunnan Golden Orchid

Doug Palas 2017 Black Tea China yunnan

2017 Yunnan Golden Orchid

In 2008, the most popular style of tea in China was fermented tea called Pu-erh. Yunnan, China, the birthplace of Pu-erh, was seeing unprecedented growth in their tea industry. Farmers increased production in an effort to keep up with demand while entrepreneurs tried to capitalize on the craze by buying land and growing tea. Two years later, when the craze passed, there was a surplus of tea on the market and the demand for Pu-erh disappeared seemingly overnight. Some tea gardens were abandoned, but in an effort to cut losses, some growers started to produce black, green, white, and oolong...

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2017 Day Lily Traditional Roast

Doug Palas 2017 gaiwan Jin Xuan oolong tea Taiwan

2017 Day Lily Traditional Roast

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 I however love the flavors that come from the mix...

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2017 Winter Shan Lin Xi

Doug Palas 2017 High Mountain oolong tea Taiwan

2017 Winter Shan Lin Xi

The small island nation of Taiwan is dotted with several tea-producing mountains. During the 1970s and ‘80s, Taiwan’s tea growers experimented with the relationship between cultivar, process, and elevation. Elevations over 1000 meters above sea level certain varieties of tea to develop incredibly complex floral aromas and flavors that are attributed to slowed growth. Light oxidation, combined with light baking, further accentuates these incredible nuances in flavor and aroma. This is our second offering this year from Shan Lin Xi. We also offered a spring harvested version of this tea. Comparatively the spring is lighter in body, and a bit...

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