Ren’ai Roasted Honey

$26.00

A rare high mountain summer tea with a distinct natural character brought on by the green leafhopper.

Flavour
Honey, earthy with roasted nuts, tobacco and woodsy undertones

Harvest
Qing Xin (Green Heart) cultivar, hand picked in small batches

Processing
Leaves are bitten by the green leafhopper bug and release amino acids as a defence mechanism, creating the natural honey aroma and flavour; 40% oxidation; medium roasting over charcoal to enhance aromas and flavours

Elevation
1,600 metres

Although the harvested leaves have also been bitten by the same insect that is responsible for making the renowned Oriental Beauty, this oolong has a unique flavour profile and is in a class of its own. The charcoal roasting and the distinct natural honey character brought on by the green leafhopper make this a complex high mountain honey oolong.

After brewing, a sweet smoky aroma emanates from the wet leaves and prepares you for the infusion. The rich golden liquor starts with a hint of tobacco that quickly dissipates and reveals earthy, and woodsy flavours with a pronounced honey finish. The honey note lingers on your palate for much longer than expected, without being too sweet, and the liquor continues to reveal its full flavour profile with hints of roasted nuts and oak.

Try pairing this roasted tea with a double cream soft cheese for a rich combination that has depth of flavour. To enhance the tea’s smoky and honey flavours serve it with anything that’s grilled on the BBQ, such as beef shish kabobs or grilled pineapple for dessert.

Brewing methods

3g per 250 mls (1 cup)

First infusion: rinse leaves with 90oC water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse for 3 minutes at 90oC

Additional infusion: gradually increase steeping time for second infusion.

7g (2 tsps) in 100ml Gaiwan

First infusion: rinse leaves with 90oC water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse 20-30 seconds at 90oC

Second and third infusions: infuse 20-30 seconds at 90oC

Additional infusions: double infusion time with each additional infusion

3g per 250mls (1 cup) of room temperature water

Brew in a tea flask at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Taste as it's brewing and strain the tea when you like the flavour.

Learn more about the origin and terroir

The Ren’ai region is located in the middle of Taiwan and is mountainous with altitudes ranging from 400 – 3,600 metres. In the east Ren’ai is part of the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan and more than half of the area is higher than 1,500 metres. The small population produces mainly temperature fruits, finer vegetables and tea. Teas cultivated in these high-altitude conditions have unique and complex taste profiles.

Because varying differences in temperatures and mountain mists – similar to the mist in the Alishan Mtn region that protects the plants from the sun – the tea grows slowly, which pushes the plants to have more character.

The grower wanted to produce a honey oolong and ensure the green leafhopper bugs – the “right” bugs – attacked the tea plants, so pesticides were not used. Tea plants will defend themselves in different ways depending on who the attacker is, but it’s when the leafhopper bugs are present that the plants release amino acids that change the chemistry in the leaves. The result is a tea with natural honey aromas and flavours that become more pronounced as the tea ages, if properly stored.