Yellow Rose Oolong
Wuyi Mountain, Fujian
Yellow Rose is a rare and relatively newer varietal of Wuyi rock oolong. It is an experimental tea for several reasons. The first being that this varietal is a cross breed of two other oolongs, Huangguanyin (yellow cassia) and Huangdan, developed in 2002. The second being that the craftsmanship of Yellow Rose is more complicated than the other rock oolongs, as this hybrid varietal is much lighter and more gentle. The roasting process requires careful attention, and the leaves must be roasted over a specific wood charcoal that burns at a lower temperature, and over a longer period of time. It requires a very experienced artisan, because if Yellow Rose is over-roasted the smoky notes will overpower the delicate floral notes it is so appreciated for.
It is named Yellow Rose on behalf of its gentle, floral quality – it is one of the most delicate and sweetest Rock oolongs.
This Yellow Rose was planted in the village of Wusandi 吴三地, located 45km northwest of the Wuyi Mountain Nature Reserve. It has an elevation of 3000 ft above sea level, which is unusually high for the Wuyi Mountain area, and is a famous village for its Old Grove Shuixian tea. (There are over 2000 old groves of Shuixian tea trees here, ranging from 30 years old to well over one hundred years old). Only around 60 families live in this village, and the vast majority of them share the last name Wu. As an indication of how established tea is in this area, every single member of this community is a tea farmer.
This community collectively maintains traditional and regenerative tea farming techniques: they do not use sprays, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides. They benefit greatly from the fact that the older generations in their village did not cut down the tea trees and focus on leaving this legacy for those who will come after them, so that they may also experience the richness of century-old tea trees. This understanding has meant that the Wusandi villagers have been able to preserve an incredible number of old grove tea trees – something that we rarely see in famous tea regions nowadays. And planted amongst them is this strange experiment, Yellow Rose.
Yellow Rose is fascinating for oolong drinkers, as the stronger characteristics we associate with this kind of tea are softened. This gives way to the nuances of rock oolong’s more gentle, floral characteristics. The rock is still present, but these softened mineral notes come on the finish, after something very sweet and very pretty.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||8|