One wonderful thing about roasted Oolongs is the way they age. We were able to secure this 7-year-old yancha made from the same bushes, by the same producer, and of the same tea cultivar as our 2020 Jinguanyin. The comparison on how these teas differ through the ages is very exciting to explore!
The dry leaves already exude an unmistakable aged oolong aroma, that of sweet earth and old wood. When first infused, this gives off a strong petrichor and pine sap fragrance. This medium-roasted tea is quick to show its true flavors, emerging even in the second brew. The tea color is a yellow amber, and the taste of the tea is still strongly vegetal with some lingering sweetness caramelized through the roast. There is a nice peppery spiceiness that emerges from the leaves in the later infusions and the brew itself becomes filled with ground cinnamon and black pepper.
This Wuyi Rock Oolong tea was made from an interesting tea cultivar. The Jinguanyin, Golden Goddess of Mercy, is a derivative cultivar of thee Tieguanyin, Iron Goddess of Mercy, and yet is cultivated for its more creamy and buttery notes instead of the overpowering floral bouquet. We were particularly drawn to this cultivar, as it is the same tea varietal as our beloved Meihouwang. Thus by offering this tea, we are able to offer a Wuyi Rock Tea and an Anxi Oolong made of the same tea varietal, but in very different ways. The first time we tried this tea, we found the Meihouwang notes immediately, and yet distinctly changed. Like looking into a brothers face.
Yanzi Keng is a small household production family with several plots of land scattered throughout the Wuyi Mountain Scenic Reserve and beyond.