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Wu Long (Oolong) Tea

Mei Zhan 梅占

Deeply roasted, gently tangy, umami, plum, dainty orchid

Regular price $23.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $23.00 USD
Size
Vintage

Vintage:

Spring 2020: Deeply roasted, gently tangy, umami, plum, dainty orchid

About This Tea

Always umami and always elegant, Mei Zhan is a proud and friendly tea that demands a keen investigation of its depth after it has wooed you with its initial beauty. This tea is all about plums. Tangy, elegant, and deeply roasted. Our Mei Zhan is made by the Zhang family, two of China's most prolific tea-producing daughters.

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  • Origin

    Shi Zi Feng, Wu Yi Shan, Fu Jian Province, China (~300-500m elevation)

  • History and Significance

    Mei Zhan means "of plum," "in place of plum," "dominated by plum." In the few stories about this cultivar, it's all related to plum blossoms. We guess this relation is probably speaking to the elegant and dilate nature of this cultivar.

  • Category

    Category: Wu Long (Oolong) Tea

    Sub-Category: Min Bei Wu Long (Yan Cha, Cliff Tea)

  • Processing

    Not all cultivars are suitable for different styles of teas. However, Mei Zhan is a versatile cultivar that is delicious no matter what it is made into, from green to red to wu long. Yan Cha tea is made with only the leaves, making it one of the latest teas to be harvested each year, with Ban Yan picking time around early to mid-April and Zheng Yan early May. After the teas are sufficiently wilted, they remain on bamboo trays for a few hours before being shaken or tumbled to manage enzyme activity. This step regulates how the water inside the leaves travels outward. The process is repeated every hour, 5-8 times throughout the evening and night until morning. Once the teas are acceptably fermented in the early morning, they are then wok-fried to kill the enzymes in the leaves to stop the fermentation. Fresh out of the wok when the leaves are still hot and soft, they are rolled vigorously to break the surface membranes to bring out more consistent flavors in the tea. The most tedious step in all Chinese tea making is the stem-picking step, which in Yan Cha's case takes place for several months following the rough tea making. It is a step where undesired yellow leaves (old leaves) and stems are picked out by hand. The "cleaned" tea is then roasted on very dim charcoal ash for 8–12 hours, 1-3 times depending on the varietal, to make it a finished Yan Cha.

  • Tasting Notes

    As you might expect, this tea is known for its plum-like flavor. Deeply roasted, gently tangy, umami, with notes of plum and dainty orchid.

  • Brewing Instructions

    Please see above for the category specific brewing specs for Gong Fu brewing. For brewing in a teapot, mug, or single cup visit this article here.

  • Learn How To Gong Fu Brew

    This foundational course is a great resource to help you understand the methods and motions of Gong Fu Brewing.