This Van Chan Wild Boar black tea is plucked by local hill tribes around Van Chan, Yen Bai Province. It is harvested from wild trees that grow at an altitude of 1,300 metres and above. These trees grow on the high forested mountain slopes completely naturally, without any human interference so under perfect organic conditions. April 2018 harvest.
The somewhat unusual name comes from the wild boars that roam the remote forests where this tea is plucked. Orthodox production methods produce a tippy whole leaf from these ancient tea trees (Camellia sinensis var. assamica). The harvested leaves are processed by a family run factory using very traditional methods of production, which involve withering, oxidation, drying and sorting.
This Van Chan Wild Boar black tea is quite similar to a high grade Assam, although it does have an extra dimension due to the terroir, as well as the traditional whole leaf processing methods employed.
The dry leaves are very dark in colour and are medium sized. The liquor is a brilliant dark copper colour and has an intriguing aroma of peppery green vegetables. It has an extremely smooth taste that is a little sweet; we find it rich, malty and a somewhat peppery. Van Chan Wild Boar is very reminiscent of a good strong Assam but is not as high in tannins and has a very clean finish. A very satisfying and thirst quenching cup overall that would easily please any fan of Assam and pleasantly surprise others.
These leaves are best brewed with water at 90°C for around 2 minutes. Definitely experiment with re-brewing the tea leaves. It’s also best taken without milk or sugar but can be brewed stronger, in which case, it can take a little bit of milk or lemon to taste.