Old Grove Buddha's Hand 2022
When appreciating tea from the Southern Fujian Province there is a small, lesser known region, bordering Anxi in the South and Dehua in the North, called Yongchun that we must pause our attention on. Yongchun has a surprising number of old grove tea trees that are now more than 60 years old.
Our friend Mei’s encounter with Yongchun oolong started in the summer of 2013. For the last decade Mei has trekked almost all of the mountains and peaks of Yongchun. She has come across abandoned tea trees deep in the mountains, and remote small scale tea farms that are still in operation. With amazement, she discovered that there are many abandoned Buddha’s Hand and Shuixian tea trees tucked high up in the mountain forests. Most of these groves are at least 2000 ft in elevation. Many of the tea trees are around 30 years old, but Mei has found some that are closer to 100: they have been hidden deep in the mountains, forgotten, and thus also protected.
This oolong comes from the White Crane Mountain Nature Reserve. White Crane Mountain sits in the middle of Yongchun County, reaching an altitude of 2,000 ft. The tea trees on this mountain were planted in the 1960’s, and most of them are around 60 years old. The rise in agriculture throughout most of the Yongchun area in the 90’s, coupled with the sudden success of the Tieguanyin tea market, meant that almost all the tea farmers working with Buddha’s Hand abandoned their trees in the mountains. The trees have since formed small groves, and have self-sustained, unattended in the wilderness, for some time.
This Buddha’s Hand has long, broad leaves and, not surprisingly, a strong character. Its taste is immediately sweet and warm, like corn syrup, or even cotton candy. Notes of lemon and roasted nuts become gradually more distinct across infusions. Its direct qualities reflect the balanced and generous ecosystem from which it comes.
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|10 - 60 sec
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