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Huanjingui Guifei Wulong, Vintage app. 2007, only limited stock
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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.
This Huangjingui Guifei-Wulong is a rarity in Taiwan. The cultivar was experimentally imported from China perhaps 20 years ago and had only circulated in very small connoisseur circles. Unfortunately, it was not able to establish itself, so that the tea plantations had to give way again to more economically productive and resistant cultivars such as Qingxin. The aroma profile of this Guifei breaks through that of the classic Guifei, which is usually made from the Qingxin cultivar. Between the lines of the sweet and heavy honey aromas, one can also taste the other character of the Huangjingui variety, which brings a certain fresh and floral note to the aroma profile. This creates a kind of ripe freshness, as a lazy late summer evening brings, in contrast to the rather fresh, floral character of traditional wulongs. An exciting Wulong that is only available in very limited quantities and is an interesting addition to the Guifei Wulong range.
Like all Guifei, this Guifei is relatively heavily oxidized and has a medium degree of roasting. The roasting process intensifies and refines the tea’s own aromas without masking its character. Here again the high art of roasting is masterfully expressed.
Due to the traditional processing it can be stored without any problems and without losing its aroma. With increasing age, the aroma changes and develops its very own charm. However, due to the good vacuum-packed storage, the tea has hardly changed until today.
Harvest time: approx. 2007
Aroma: Fruity sweet honey notes interspersed with ripe floral notes
Oxidation: Approx. 60%.
Origin: 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 the tea 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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