In China, highest grades of Tieguanyin oolong are prized and often presented as gifts. These lots are judged not only on taste and aroma, appearance plays a very big part in the rating of the offered tea. Once a lot is processed, the leaves are again inspected and variations in leaf size or any broken leaves are plucked out by hand, removed from the prized lot. That leaf, however, retains its lineage – a top grade, finest of the harvest, offering wonderful flavors and aroma.
Knowing this process, we have purchased these “castaway” leaves as they are truly wonderful in taste. Our name, Little Monkey Tieguanyin, speaks to the size of the leaves as they tend to be smaller and even broken after rolling. In the steep, you will find a highly aromatic and flavorful Tieguanyin oolong. The best of the harvest but as they say “damaged fruit” and herein recognized as such. We recommend you give it try if you enjoy Tieguanyin style oolongs.
Our "Little Monkey" Tieguanyin was grown in the AnXi Region in southern Fujian Province. The region's terrier - soils, shape of the rolling hills and terraced mountains, altitude, the proximity to the sea, ample rains and mists, create an optimum environment for cultivating this oolong’s lush flavors.
Why we selected this particular lot. As we stated earlier, these leaves are some of the finest of the harvest but have been “damaged” in the processing of the lot. At the same time, note the leaves vibrant, fresh green coloration. Light and aromatic notes emanate from the freshly harvested leaves. This signature "airy" and floral flavor determined our selection. The tea has precious, natural aromas, flavor is full and lingering. Harvest date is 2016. Lot # 13.
Interesting facts about our selection. The highest grade oolongs are hand selected from the just picked harvest or "pluck". The leaves then are processed. The high grade lots must be as close to uniform in appearance as possible. Misshapen or "damaged” leaves are culled out. These leaves cab taste wonderful as they are best of the pluck. Our Little Monkey is made with these same leaves - the culled highest grade. Note the leaves are quite small.
Taste profile. As the leaves steep, they slowly open to release a lush, light-green-yellow liquor often described as floral and buttery. Notes are softly sweet, with a mouth feel that will linger and delight you in its complexity. Long after tasting, you can note the taste of this tea remains to be enjoyed again.
Brewing suggestions. Use boiling water, rinse the leaves briefly and pour the water off. This will "awaken" the leaves. Then re-infuse and steep for 1.5 to two minutes. Optimum water temperature is 195° plus. Drain the water off the leaves between infusions and they should easily provide 5-6 steeps!