The Lin family were the first growers on Phoenix Mountain to capture our deepest respect and admiration. Their knowledge, skill and honesty spans generations. Their grandmother first stored some Honey Orchid tea in a ceramic vessel in 1961 and then again in 1993. We still have a bit of each of those extraordinary teas. The current matriarchal leader of the family has been so genuine and trustworthy with us for over a decade that we refer to her as 'the Honest Lady,' a nickname she is proud to have.

Their Peach Flower Fragrance Oolong is a wonder of flavors, fragrances and even colors. The surprisingly rich bouquet of beautiful spring peach flowers and creamy Iris flowers nestles on your tongue and activates your senses strongly. The colors come from this tea's unusual ability to invoke synesthesia. Some get a soothing mental image of an orange sunset while others 'see' the creamy purple petals of a bloomed rose.

One thing no grower can control though is the weather. The spring picking is unfortunately right in the middle of the rainy season on Phoenix Mountain. Rain is needed for the tea to grow, but cool sunny days are ideal for picking and processing. It all starts at the cellular level in the tea leaves. On rainy days, for reasons no scientific studies have yet uncovered, Phoenix Mountain tea trees produce too much chlorogenic acid whereas on sunny days they produce almost none. The bitter, slightly metallic flavor of that molecule is great for coffee (up to 10% of the dry bean weight) but not for a Peach flower frgrance tea. Which is exactly why at least one of us is happily tasting teas everyday on Phoenix Mountain during the harvest season. This is the only way to ensure we get the best of the limited sunny day teas and thus the coveted best the Lin family has to offer.

We only buy their mao cha (not fully finished tea) which allows us to custom finish the tea in the final baking step. By adjusting the temperatures, the time and the turning frequencies we can coax out all the high and lasting floral fragrance our customers love without even a hint of the undesired baked notes. And that it what makes it all worthwhile.

Storage: Store unused portions sealed in an airtight bag away from light in the freezer at 5F/-15C or below. 

Brewing water: Poland Spring (called Origin Brand in some areas) brand mineral water most closely matches the slightly hard natural spring water on Phoenix Mountain and produces the finest results. Soft water, distilled water and hard water will ruin this tea. Tap water varies wildly and is best avoided as well. If you don't have Poland Spring (called Origin Brand in some areas) brand mineral water available please see good substitutions on our water page.

Brewing temperature: 100C/212F

Brewing method:  5g tea leaves (~2 heaping Tablespoons), 100ml (a bit less than 1/2 cup) water each time for 5 seconds in a Chinese gaiwan or a small pot. After the first 10 infusions, increase each infusion time by 5 seconds. To produce lighter tea, either decrease amount of tea, increase amount of water or decrease brewing time. To produce stronger tea, either increase amount of tea, decrease amount of water or increase brewing time. You can easily adjust to suit your individual taste.

Notes:  Small quick infusions showcase the changing flavors of each cup. Longer brewing times in larger quantities of water end up more homogeneous, but still very good results.

Peach Flower Fragrance Phoenix Mountain Oolong Tea (Master Lin April 21st)

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