Osmanthus Laoshan Black
Osmanthus flowers (桂花), also known as kinmokusei (金木犀) in Japanese, are common in China and Japan. An exquisite and delicate flower, they bloom in the fall with a delightful and enchanting fragrance.
Our Osmanthus Laoshan Black uses a varietal of osmanthus flower called 丹桂 or sweet osmanthus. It has a bright orange color and intoxicatingly sweet smell. The base green tea is the autumn flush of our Laoshan Black, harvested from small plots of Mr. Tang’s family tea farm nestled between the mountains and ocean in Qingdao.
Every year, the osmanthus flower blossoms during Mid Autumn Festival in October. As the season is short and fleeting, the ideal harvest time is a mere three days. During these three days, the delicate and tiny flowers are hand-picked from the trees by six elderly women who are Mr. Tang’s neighbours.
Scenting was done in an ancient production method by layering the sweet osmanthus and black tea layer upon layer in equal proportions and slowly roasting at low temperature.
窨, the Chinese character for scenting, is made of two parts. The top part is 穴, which translates into jar or cellar. The bottom is 音, which translates into music or sound. The story of how the character for scenting came to be is beautiful. In the ancient times, people used to collect the fragrance of flowers by storing the buds in ceramic pots and sealing them with cotton paper. As the flower buds opened up, the subtle motion would create a sound in the jars. In those times, scenting was seen as flowers singing in a ceramic jar — “music in the jar", and thus became the character 窨.
The resulting tea is extremely unique and delicious. It has layers of distinct caramel and nutty notes. It is smooth and rich, like a "dessert tea". Notes of buttered pecan, roasted hazelnut and dried prunes.