The Chens' New Garden, Medium Roast

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Banana, Butter, Caramelized Sugar, Charcoal, Chestnut, Coconut, Cookie, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Honeysuckle, Mango, Nutty, Orchid, Pine, Roasted, Silky, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Brisk, Burlap, Cinnamon, Drying, Earthy, Fruity, Gardenias, Oily, Perfume, Plumeria, Rice, Tannin, Viscous, Walnut
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 115 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is my last Song sample from Derk. I’m always a bit wary of roasted teas, but I’ve had decent luck with them lately. I steeped 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30,...” Read full tasting note
    96
  • “Still some prominent floweriness despite the roast. Viscous and sweet, complex chestnut and toasted rice flavor soup with a brisk tannic quality. Extra-strong aftertaste lingers though sometimes...” Read full tasting note

From Song Tea & Ceramics

Notes of tadiq, galangal, and mango

Oolong from Taiwan・April 2021・陳家新茶園烏龍, 中火・Unsprayed / Semi-wild

We find ourselves increasingly drawn to the traditional craft of charcoal roasting and the sheer breadth of flavor and character it can coax from tea leaves under the right hands. Mr. Li is one of the last charcoal roasters remaining in Taiwan as makers move on to newer, more efficient methods of production. Yet the quality of charcoal roasting cannot be denied. For the 2021 harvest of Mr. and Mrs. Chen’s New Garden, we opted for a medium roast from Mr. Li to highlight the innate sweetness of these wild leaves.

This New Garden tea grows unattended across the dizzyingly steep slopes of Zhushan, in Nantou county, Taiwan. The plants are truly ye fang, grown with almost no human intervention. The grove is not irrigated, fertilized, or manicured, relying entirely on the natural resources of the mountain for its success. Here the roots are free to burrow deep into the soil, leaves are peppered with bug bites (a surprisingly positive quality for a tea tree, the plant sends additional sugars to the bitten leaves to form calluses on the bites, increasing the sweetness of the harvested leaves), and fertilization, sunlight, and climate are controlled by the canopy of larger trees that shade the grove, and create natural mulch for the soil below.

The rustic nature of this tea lends perfectly to traditional crafting. The temperature of the roast concentrates the sweetness of the leaves, lending it light caramel notes and a bouquet of fruit. Tadiq, galangal, and mango notes add depth and intrigue across multiple steepings.

For a more comprehensive picture of charcoal roasting’s range, check out The Chens’ New Garden, Light Roast.

Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・208° F・2 min

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3 Tasting Notes

96
425 tasting notes

This is my last Song sample from Derk. I’m always a bit wary of roasted teas, but I’ve had decent luck with them lately. I steeped 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus some long, uncounted steeps.

The dry aroma is of chestnuts, ginger, cookies, florals, and vague fruit. The first steep has notes of toasted rice, chestnut, butter, honeysuckle and other florals, ginger, cookies, and very pronounced mango. I’m impressed by how many dimensions this tea has instead of knocking me over the head with roast. The next steep has more of that Dong Ding nutty/buttery/charcoal/toasted rice profile, but with mango, orchid, pine, and ginger. It has a thick, silky texture and an aftertaste that lasts for minutes. Steeps three and four give me green banana (thanks, Derk!), mango, chestnut, florals, and toasted rice. That mango aftertaste is especially lovely! More mango shows up in the next couple steeps, though the roast is slightly more apparent. I get some grass, banana, toasted coconut, and the caramelized sugar sweetness that Derk mentioned. The next couple steeps are a bit drying, but still have that lovely chestnut, butter, and mango profile. The tea starts to lose its florality and acquires more toasted rice, grass, and nutty notes, but the mango is very persistent, lasting well into the long, uncounted final steeps.

As I mentioned, I haven’t had much luck with roasted teas, but this one is exceptional. I love the mango, but even without that, it has lots of nuance and texture while letting the roast play out in the background. Whoever roasted this tea is a master of their craft! It’s also $45 for 30 g, although price doesn’t always equal quality when it comes to roasted teas.

Flavors: Banana, Butter, Caramelized Sugar, Charcoal, Chestnut, Coconut, Cookie, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Honeysuckle, Mango, Nutty, Orchid, Pine, Roasted, Silky, Sweet, Toasted Rice

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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1569 tasting notes

Still some prominent floweriness despite the roast. Viscous and sweet, complex chestnut and toasted rice flavor soup with a brisk tannic quality. Extra-strong aftertaste lingers though sometimes it can lean a little too drying like a greenish banana. Returning sweetness develops from the throat, like the Maillard reaction and sugary toasted coconut chips. I feel my ears and sinuses open up with cooling sensation. Seamless.

I chuckled a little at Song Tea’s galangal descriptor. After sitting here a while with the aftertaste, I think it’s apt. Not the sharp heat and pungency of ginger, but something more mellow and earthy, piney. I will say I don’t enjoy the tea as much with their recommended parameters, so I’m glad there is versatility with this leaf.

Flavors: Banana, Brisk, Burlap, Caramelized Sugar, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Coconut, Drying, Earthy, Floral, Fruity, Gardenias, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Mango, Oily, Perfume, Pine, Plumeria, Rice, Sweet, Tannin, Toasted Rice, Viscous, Walnut

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Leafhopper

I’ve been meaning to get to these Song teas. Would you suggest bowl steeping or gongfu? I feel bad putting all my leaves in one teapot, so to speak. :)

derk

Gongfu for sure.

Leafhopper

Good to know. I’ve been eyeing that Different Ruby 18 for a while.

derk

Incredible candied mango aftertaste when steeped short. Oily. This tea feels really good.

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