Osmanthus Laoshan Black
October 20-25, 2021
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 black tea is the autumn flush of our Laoshan Black, a remarkable and delicious tea from the Tang family. The tiny tea gardens are nestled between the Yellow Sea and the magnificent cliffs of Mount Lao. Situated in the northern part of China where temperatures are cooler, the tea plants grow slower, yielding a richer tea with depth and complexity.
Every year, 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 is an ancient Chinese process to honor and preserve the essence and fragrance of fresh flowers. It is an exquisite and laborious process that requires a tremendous amount of skill and patience from the artisans.
Scenting of our Osmanthus Laoshan Black was done in small batches and by hand, following the time-honored traditions. The black tea leaves are thinly laid on bamboo mats, the fresh sweet osmanthus flowers scattered over them. Slowly absorbing the fragrance and aromas from the flowers, each scenting cycle lasts for eight hours. The following day, the flowers are extracted, the tea leaves are slowly roasted over charcoal for a few hours and allowed to rest for two days before the next round of scenting. This tea received 5 rounds of scenting, each round with fresh sweet osmanthus flowers.
This year’s tea is exceptionally delicious. It is extremely smooth, rich and full-bodied. On the notes, it has distinct notes of cream and molasses. On the palate, notes of peach, dark chocolate, caramel and apricots.
|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||8|