2019 Summer Red Da Yeh Oolong from Tse Ke Shan
Cultivar: Da Yeh Oolong
Harvested: August 10th, 2019
Origin: Tse Ke Shan, HuaLien county, Taiwan East Coast
Process: Insect bitten and fully oxidized What makes this red tea special is that the farmer grows it without pesticide so that its leaves will be bitten by the small Jacobiasca formosana Paoli (green leaf insects). It's the very same insect that bites the leaves of leaves of Oriental Beauty Oolong (and Concubine Oolong). Lightly roasted in October.
The leaves are quite small for a summer harvest and contain buds. The brew is dark red and has a very good transparency and shine. The spent leaves are red, a good sign that the oxidation level is close to 100%.
Dry: honey, sugar and exotic fruit cake. Brew: the notes of honey are at the same level as the ripe fruits and chocolate scents.
That's where this tea is most unlike the 2018 spring batch. The brew is very sweet and mellow. Even brewed in competition mode (3 gr for 6 minutes), there's virtually no astringency and barely any bitterness.
Conclusion: This summer 2019 red tea is of high quality thanks, in part, to the small size of the harvested leaves. The tea is easy to brew and its sweet flavors make it also a wonderful tea for a sweet breakfast or an afternoon snack!