Mei Zhan varietal is another of the classic Fujian, MinNan 闽南 cultivars which became less know with the dominance of Tie Guan Yin in the 1990s and 2000s.
We have been very fortunate to secure this tea since 2020. The plantation was rediscovered in some of the highest parts of Anxi. The bushes are now many metres tall and require a combination of climbing or ladders in order to harvest.
Over the years we have managed secure this tea, Wan Ling has been working with the local village on getting the best from this tea. The leaf is collected by locals and then process in the nearby village in to a light jade style oolong 清香. Subsequently, Wan Ling has been working with a local expert in the village who is very skilled with baking teas. This is a very skillful process that needs considerable patience and knowledge to optimise the temperature and duration.
You will note different bakes are available for different vintages. If you need additional information or have any questions, Please do contact us.
Oolong teas typically involve many more steps during processing, than other tea types. Oolong teas predominantly originate from Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan.
The appearance and flavours of oolong tea are diverse. Oolongs can range from fresh, floral styles like Tieguanyin, through to dark, almost black teas like many of the Wuyi mountain teas and our Baiyaqilan which have rich caramel notes. These characteristics are achieved through the complex processes including single or multiple finishing bakes which involves considerable skill and art on behalf of the producer.
Oolong tea varietals, the tea plants, vary considerably too from very fine leaves of Tieguanyin to Daye and Foshou varietals whose leaves can be the size of a hand.
Xianghua, Anxi, Fujian 福建省安溪县祥华乡
Xianghua township is part of Anxi county. Located to the North-West of Anxi town. Now with the improved roads in the region it is possible to drive from Anxi to Xianghua in around 1.5-2 hours.
Set high in the mountains of the region, Xianghua region averages an altitude around 850m with the highest peaks around 1588m.
One of the three main Tieguanyin producing areas, alongside Gande 感德镇 and Xiping 西平镇, Xianghua includes twenty villages and many more small hamlets, many engaged in tea growing and production.
Brewing Oolong Tea in a Gaiwan
Vessel Capacity: 150 - 200ml
Tea Quantity: 8g (loose leaf)
Water Temperature: 95 - 98c
People / Servings: 4
Medthod: Rinse the tea with a little hot water and then discard it. Next refill the tea pot and follow the infusion times below. For a 120ml Gaiwan you can either keep back 1-2g or add all the leaf. If you add all the leaf, you may want to revise the brewing times slightly (downward) to allow for the fuller flavour. Please note using a Zisha teapot times should be revised downward to allow for time for the liquor to pour from the tea pot.
Infusion Times (in seconds):
1st = 30.
2nd = 30.
3rd = 40.
4th = 50.
5th = 70.
6th = 90.
7th = 120.
Please visit our online tea brewing guide, which includes different methods and infusion times for all tea types.