Taiwan Dark Pearl
Origin: Taitung, Taiwan
Oxidation level: 50%-60%
Tea colour: Oolong
Method of preparation :
By the Gong Fu Cha method : 4-6 successive infusions of 20-40 seconds
In a tasting set: 6 minutes in water heated to 90°C (185°F)
Aspect: leaves rolled into “pearls”.
Colour: dark brown with black glints.
Scents: citrus (orange, grapefruit), fruity (fresh fruit, passion fruit), stewed fruit, woody, tobacco and an underlying spicy note.
Colours: a mixture of dark green and brown.
Scents: rich, harmonious notes combining the fragrances of cooked and fresh fruit (exotic fruit) with the smooth sweetness of vanilla, which brings a roundness to the other aromas, as well as a fresh yet candied citrus accent which adds a lively note. Honey, wax-polished wood, spices, rose-floral and pear notes.
Colour: a clear, gleaming, golden amber liquor.
Texture: very supple and full in the mouth.
Flavours: a touch of sweetness.
Aromas: many different notes which form a complex aromatic bouquet right from the start, lingering in the mouth. Honey (pale honey), floral (rose, geranium) and plenty of fruit (fresh and stewed fruit). Exotic fruit, passion fruit, quince jelly and pears in syrup, sustained by woody (wax-polished wood) and vanilla notes.
Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: lovely long and aromatic fruity notes with smooth vanilla.
Situated on the Tropic of Cancer, the conditions on the island are ideal for the cultivation of tea. More than half of the island is over 200 metres (650 ft) and the many mountains ranges offer cool, damp conditions that favour the production of high-quality teas. The most highly regarded Taiwanese teas are the “blue-green” or semi-oxidised teas that are divided into three categories: Bao Zhong, lightly oxidised, Bai Hao Wu Long and Wu Long shaped into pearls.
Traditionally named Red Oolong, this Taiwanese tea is better known as Dark Pearl Oolong. Plucked in summer 2011 in the Lu Ye hills (500-600 metres altitude) in a rural part of Taitung district in the south-east of the island, it has dark black leaves, hence its name. This garden of five hectares is now owned by the Taiwanese government. It was created during the Japanese occupation between 1895 and 1945, but production of Dark Pearl only developed in 2007. It is harvested three or four times a year, depending on weather conditions.This highly fermented tea with a complex aromatic bouquet is a delicious combination of honey, floral and fruity notes with woody and vanilla notes that linger pleasantly in the mouth.