Tea is often at the whim of popular taste and nowhere is this trend more evident than in Anxi, China. By local and popular demand annual crops of Iron Buddha tend to be made into lightly oxidised and floral oolongs that can lack depth and complexity.
Each year we strive to find an Iron Buddha with a balance of fresh flavours and darker notes. Too heavily roasted and the fresh “green” flavour is lost; too lightly roasted and it lacks warmth and complexity. At the expense of this tendency for lighter oolongs, the precision and skill to produce that crucial balance has sadly gone forgotten.
This year we uncovered an Iron Buddha miles from its orthodox centre – Taiwan. Just south of Taipei, a group of Taiwanese tea makers are rejuvenating Iron Buddha and bringing to life traditional methods that previously defined this tea.
With optimum growing conditions and raw material, this traditional Taiwanese Iron Buddha is thick and creamy, has an almost syrupy texture, and a wonderful taste combining honeyed sweetness, baked fruit and chocolate flavours – just what we have been looking for!
The 5 kilos we managed to secure have just arrived – Hurry, it won’t last long.