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Fern Trail Amber Oolong


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This exquisite, lush tasting Oolong comes from PingLin, a rural area with hills ranging between 300-500m in elevation on the outskirts of Taipei, about an hour’s drive to the southeast. The name literally means “forest on a plain,” but there are hills that edge up to the mountains to the east, with mists that cool the landscape. The area is also a well known destination for hikers and bikers, due in part to its status as a water-source conservation site. Streams and ferns line trails, offering spots for fishing as well.

Standard pluck is a bud with 3 leaves or a bud with 4 leaves. From withering to finished primary tea takes 12 to 14 hours. The roasting is done by machine; shaking and bruising to initiate oxidation is accomplished by both hand and machine. There is high temperature roasting, but also many cycles of stopping and re-starting, in order to assess the tea and to adjust temperature, a closely monitored process.

Fern Trail Amber Oolong is a semi-balled tea from the Qing Xing cultivar. This in itself, plus the fact that the tea was oxidized about 40%, give little hint as to what the tea reveals. From the very first sip, there comes an “aha” moment, upon discovery of such a delectable range. Each subsequent sip is equally satisfying, carrying what the nose first sensed to the palate, each mouthful brimming with layers of flavors. The more vigorous rolling and proprietary roasting steps that go into making the Fern Trail Oolong add distinct layers of flavor that bloom. The finish is longer; more of what was inside the leaves will have adhered to the finished, balled Fern Trail Oolong. This is a rounder, mellower tea with top notes of honeysuckle, golden raisins, and fragrant melon. One significant contributing factor to the honeyed taste is the effect of leafhoppers on the tea plant (Qing Xin cultivar), and because of this, no pesticides are used. The balance from the approximate 40% oxidation and roasting technique makes for a tea that 1) will not fade as some very lightly oxidized oolongs are prone to, and 2) one that demonstrates admirably the inherent fruity features that can be drawn out from this sometimes prosaic cultivar, -- thus, a good testament to the power of this cultivar.

During our tastings, there are some cups that we don’t throw out but to which we return after the brew has subsided to room temperature. This is one of those teas, with luscious flavor to be enjoyed from the cooled tea. Sophisticated enough for the “terroir sipper” and approachable for the entry level sipper, this Fern Trail Oolong has a lot to offer to the consumer for less than a dollar per serving. Use spring water heated to a temperature of 80° to 90° C. (180° to 195°F.) and multiple short steepings, gradually increasing the steeping time and water temperature until the flavor begins to fade.
  • Model: O-FSAO-1

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 15 August, 2017.