Organic Jade Oolong (有機翠玉烏龍茶) is a refreshing and balanced light oolong grown in Mingjian Township in Nantou County of central Taiwan. It has a wonderfully characteristic profile that showcases the best of both worlds when it comes to Taiwanese oolong, combining the creamy smoothness of Milk Oolong with the more floral flavours of teas such as Four Seasons Oolong. Made from the leaves of the Cui Yu ‘Green Jade’ (翠玉) cultivar plants that are grown to organic standards, it was picked and finished in late October 2020.
This Organic Jade Oolong comes from a tea garden that is run to organic standards and according to natural farming principles. While the garden is not certified organic, this tea undergoes pesticide and fertiliser residue testing to confirm that no artificial substances are used during growth.
The Jade Oolong name has become somewhat of a generic term for light green oolongs from Taiwan. So it is common to see Jade Oolong being marketed without any reference to cultivars used in making it. Our Organic Jade Oolong, however, is made only using plants of the Cui Yu ‘Green Jade’ (翠玉) cultivar, also known as TRES #13. Arguably this is the only cultivar that should be used in a Jade Oolong tea.
Cui Yu cultivar was created in 1981 by the Tea Research and Extension Station of Taiwan (TRES) at the same time as the famous Jin Xuan TRES #12 cultivar that is used to make the very popular Milk Oolong. Both of these cultivars were well received and are credited with the revival and subsequent rise in popularity of Taiwanese oolong tea in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Unlike the Jin Xuan cultivar with its unique milky flavours and a strong consumer following and demand, Cui Yu has been recently losing popularity amongst farmers. As Cui Yu is not as easy to care for and grow for the farmers, it is being surpassed by plants of other cultivars, most notably the much hardier Si Ji Chun ‘Four Seasons’ (四季春). While Si Ji Chun may be more exuberantly floral in taste for consumers and easier to grow for farmers, it does lack some of the refinement and balance of flavours that can be found in a great Jade Oolong from a Cui Yu cultivar plants.
The leaves of this Organic Jade Oolong are small, rolled, dark green pearls that have a light verdant floral fragrance. The clear liquor is a light yellow green colour with a gentle floral aroma. The flavour is bright, clean and crisp with a verdant profile. The smooth taste has notes that are floral, subtly creamy and herbaceous. The aftertaste is clean, a little mineral and lasting with a sweet aspect coming through. This is an excellent version of Jade Oolong and the organic nature of this tea makes the flavours even brighter and more refreshing.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 2-3 minutes and should definitely be brewed multiple times to enjoy the different flavours from each brew.