Old Tree Baiye Red



April 2020

Chaozhou, Guangdong

Within Phoenix Oolong, Lingtou Baiye is a highly regarded and well known varietal. “Lingtou” is the name of the village where it varietal originated from, and “Baiye” directly translates to “white leaf.” Lingtou Village in Shuangbinniang Mountain has been cultivating the Baiye varietal of Phoenix Oolong since the 1960’s.

The earliest classification of Phoenix Oolongs only distinguished between 白叶 Baiye (white leaf) or 乌叶 Wuye (dark leaf), depending on what color of the fresh leaves were when they sprouted from the tree. Further classification of Phoenix Oolongs, by their aroma, came later. After land reforms in the 1950’s, tea trees in this region were assigned to individual tea farmers, and many of them gave unusual and secret names to the trees they had been assigned. 

This Old Tree Baiye Red is known as a Phoenix Dancong Oolong from the mountains of Raoping County in the city of Chaozhou, in Guangdong province. Lingtou village, in Raoping County, where the baiye varietal originates from is a well known place in these mountains: particularly charming, with a wealth of lychee, longan and pineapple trees. The small, biodynamic tea farm in this village sits at 500m elevation. It’s trees are around 30 years old. 

To craft this Old Tree Baiye, freshly picked tea leaves are first withered indoors on woven bamboo mats for around 10 hours. Then the leaves are tossed and bruised to ensure even oxidation. This process lasts for over 2 days, allowing the slowly oxidizing leaves to develop their complex flavor. Finally, the tea is roasted at low temperatures over lychee charcoal, which further develops its innate fruitiness. 

This is a delicious tea, and its sweetness is complex, like transformed fruit. In the first several infusions it has notes of lychee, roasted sweet potato and molasses. In later infusions it tastes like sakura, with long lingering notes of ripe mangoes and dried longan. These discrete flavours are unsettled and ever-changing, adding to how enchanting this Old Tree Baiye is.

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Brewing guide

Tea 4g
100 °C
Water  120ml
Steep time 10 - 90 sec
No. of infusions 8


Cold Brew Guide

Tea 2g
Water 12 oz
Temperature Room temperature filtered water
Steep  Brew at temperature overnight, then chill in the fridge
No. of infusions 1


ml Time  Infusions
4 95 150 5-10 sec 8

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