2018 Wuyi Oolong Que She 武夷岩茶雀舌
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Sparrow’s Tongue is a second generation descendant of stock #1 (counting from the left) of the six stocks of tea trees at Tian Xin Cliff (天心岩) Da Hong Pao (大红袍, Scarlet Robe) location, which is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction site of Wuyi mountain. The propagation is done through sexual reproduction in 1980s. Its association with Tian Xin Cliff also earned it the Scarlet Robe aura, although they are indeed different varieties. On top of this confusion, Sparrow's Tongue is widely regarded as the same as another famous variety Bu Zhi Chun (不知春), although there are considered different varieties in older times.
So named due to its unique tea leaves shaped like a sparrow's tongue, it is one of the most famous cultivars in Wuyi Mountains. This tea should not be confused with the green tea of the same name from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. Being different teas, they are called similarly because the shapes of their leaves are fat and pointed, just like a sparrow’s tongue.
This tea was grown and processed in Wuyi Mountains, Xing Cun where it is said that "tea can only be aromatic after passing through Xing Cun" (茶不到星村不香).
We are brewing this tea in our “Compass” zisha tea pot, at 95°C for 60 sec, at 6 gm to 60 ml filtered water for the first and second brews and shortening brew time to 45 sec for subsequent brews until the tea tasted diluted at the fifth brew. Colour should be orange amber. We are drinking from slightly bigger tea cups for its intense aroma and to allow faster cooling of the tea. Experienced Wuyi tea masters often say Wuyi wulong tea is to drink and not to smell, so the focus of the processing technique should lead to a strong flavour rather than mere intense aroma. In all our brews, we focus on a strong flavour with no astringency, while we enjoy its accompanying creamy, floral and fruity aroma without obvious roastiness. Tea should be balanced with no obvious bitterness or sweetness. We noted gardenia, roasted coconut, toffee and coriander from the various brews.