Vintage 1994 Aged Oolong (烏龍老茶年一九九四) is a unique aged oolong tea from Taiwan. It has a complex profile and intriguing flavours reminiscent of rum. This tea comes from Mingjian Township of Nantou County and probably consists of mostly Si Ji Chun ‘Four Seasons’ (四季春) cultivar leaves. It was harvested and made by Mr Chang in 1994 and has been aged by him since then. This aged oolong was last roasted in 2021 at low temperature to reduce moisture and refresh the tea. Such roasting does not impart any roasted flavours you find in other baked or roasted teas, instead it reinvigorates the aged tea and introduces more balance and complexity to the flavour.
You may be interested in other Aged Oolong teas that we currently offer.
This Aged Oolong is a 1994 Vintage. The reason the year is well-established is because the farmer, Mr Chang, switched to organic farming in 1995. He decided not to sell the last batch of conventional tea made in 1994 and instead to leave it for ageing. Hence we can date the tea pretty accurately. At the time he was mostly producing tea from Si Ji Chun cultivar but also using other cultivars in smaller quantity. Hence it most likely consists of Si Ji Chun cultivar leaves but it is possible that it has been mixed with some other leaves back in 1994 before being put away for ageing. Many good aged teas would consist of quite a mixture of leaves of different cultivars and even terroirs. This one is more uniform, pointing to the fact that it is mostly one cultivar rather than a complete mix.
After the long-term storage this tea was last refreshed in May 2021 by our Tea Master who acquired it from Mr Chang earlier the same year. This was done carefully, under controlled conditions, and at a very low temperature. This was needed to remove excess moisture from the tea and to freshen up and awaken the leaves. This also means that this tea will store extremely well for many years to come.
This Vintage 1994 Aged Oolong consists of tightly rolled leaves with quite a bit of stalk. Not the prettiest looking, it certainly makes up for the appearance in the abundance of flavour. It produces a light amber liquor that is quite aromatic with notes of wood, tobacco and old leather as well as a hint of fruit. The taste is superbly smooth and surprisingly rum-like! The complex flavour has notes of sugar cane, sweet fruity tobacco, light wood, old leather and salted preserved plums. There is a vapourific quality to the taste and a little bitterness on the top of the palate. The aftertaste is smooth, satisfying and lasting. This is an excellent aged tea, delivering the complexity of flavours expected from the age.
We suggest brewing at 95°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste, brewing multiple times. We suggest a very brief rinse of the leaves in hot water prior to brewing this tea. For best results brew gong fu style.