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old ways tea

Masu Old Tree Black Tea/Old Ways Tea. . .

Something was tugging at me this evening…a longing to shut myself away with a pot of tea and candlelight and soft flutes playing.

It is so easy to make a cup of tea, and the process itself can be calming and enjoyable. I wanted to go the extra step and create an atmosphere for a full tea experience. Candles were lit first, the tea tray arranged on the floor, water set to heat, a tea selected, and Asian traditional music playing.

Some time ago, I would have felt impatient in the preparations, wanting to get to the part where we sit and drink. I have learned now to view the setting up and the cleaning up as part of the pleasure of the whole experience and I feel very contented as I prepare.

The tea selected is from Old Ways Tea. This is a black tea, Masu Lao Cong Hong Cha. It is in a lovely red and gold package of five grams weight. I think that is perfect for this little gong fu session.

The leaves are beautiful. They are long, twisted, and black. I poured hot water into my little pot, poured it out, and then added the leaves and put the lid on for a minute. The warm, steamy environment in the pot allows you to smell the leaves better prior to actually steeping the tea.

The aroma is rich and dark. There is no cocoa aroma here as you find in many Wuyi teas. It is a rich scent of TEA, pure and unadulterated. More layers of scent begin to peek out and continue to develop throughout the session.

I kept the first steep short as my pot is quite small. We used an aroma cup to fully enjoy every aspect of this session, and now there is a strong burnt sugar aroma. This is not the wafting smokey aroma of a lapsang, but a deep and stable smell as of burnt sugar when making caramel. I am reminded of the brown sugar toast my mother made, when the brown sugar would melt into a hard crust on top of the bread that would shatter and crumble when you bit into it. Then after a deeper sniff, it reminds me of peach cobbler. My favorite part of a homemade cobbler, fresh from the oven, is the edge where the batter has touched the pan and become crispy and deep brown instead of cake-y like the middle.

With each steep, the baked fruit aromas grow with this tea. The sugar is fading a little and fruit steps forward more, and then an aroma like osmanthus begins to blossom. Combined with the baked fruit and sugar, it smells like a fine, natural cologne.

This was an excellent tea for a gong fu session. It is not a heavy tea, nor is it astringent. The body is medium and the color somewhat light for a black tea. I am so glad we made the most of it, and took the time to enjoy its full beauty. I am left feeling very much at peace, even after the tea things are washed and dried and put away. The peace lingers.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea

Description

2018 premium black tea from my cousin’s garden in Masu. 2018 has brought a good harvest and we are excited to offer this tea once again. Lighter fragrance with strong mouth feel and overall roundness. Brew it strong or weak, the tea can deliver.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Qi Lan/Old Ways Tea . . . .

Good morning, Tea-ple! It’s time for another review! Today we’re trying Qi Lan from Old Ways Tea, an oolong from China’s Wuyi mountains.

The first word that springs to mind is “tangy!” (With the exclamation point. Don’t leave that out).

There’s a metallic taste with almost a citrus feel to this tea. It’s almost the equivalent of the sound of rain tapping on a tin roof. It’s pennies and earth and rust, converted into tea form.

I’m not sure that sounds appealing; but I can assure you, this is a pleasing blend. It’s surprising and rusty and homey.

It’s a meditation session in a gazebo in a forest. It’s a wishing fountain. It’s a ceremonial gong being struck. It’s a martial arts scene set in the rain.

It’s my morning choice, and I like it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea

Description

This Qi Lan tea can be described as qing xiang meaning having a gentle fragrance. The fragrance is well rounded leaving a pleasant Wuyi mineral flavor and returning sweetness. I think that our Qi Lan turned out quite good this year.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Old Tree from Old Ways Tea. . .

As this tea’s blend suggests, this tea is from an old tea tree. According to Old Ways Tea’s site, old trees run rampant and have huge roots that change the mineral content and flavor of the tea. They also are home to little ecosystems that live in their big, dense branches, including lichen and moisture and all sorts of funky goodness* that translates into the leaf’s flavor.

* (Note: The phrase “funky goodness” does not appear in the original description of the tea, to its detriment.)

This tea is indeed mineral-ish, and a little bit spicy/smoked. It almost has a heat to its flavor. Is it possible for tea to have… a natural kick? Because this does.

This is the Southern BBQ of tea. The flavor is kind of rugged. The kind of thing a man’s man would enjoy while turning a spit with a hog on it first thing in the morning. Later in the day, I imagine a man’s man would turn to beer, but this is a good solid push into anyone’s busy day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Old Tree Black Tea – Premium from Old Ways Tea. . . . .

One of my favorite visual characteristics of various black teas are the thin, long, wiry leaves. And among my favorite flavors of black teas are the ones that are more complex, flavorful, and bold. I was thrilled when this tea proved both of my loves! The tea on tap for today is Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees, hence the name! The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal and are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu which is high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. And the soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing.

This is a gem of a black tea with a more than impressive story behind it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea. . . .

If you want to support a family business, tea from Old Ways Tea offers you an opportunity to do just that. The owner of Old Ways Tea is originally from the Wuyi mountains in China, but lives in the US. The only tea sold is based upon what the family farm in China is able to produce that year. If you watch the site regularly, you can also sign up for the newsletter to provide you updates with harvest season!

Visually, the Old Tree Black Tea looks like your standard black tea with large leaves for brewing. Old Tree tea is picked from trees that are allowed to grow much larger than most tea crops. Since they are so large, their roots extend far into the soil and are able to bring a different layer of minerals and nutrients to the leaves which impact the flavor profile. For Old Ways Tea’s Old Tree tea, the additional minerals have resulted in a nice smooth flavor. It is lighter than most black teas, and it would be great as a starter black tea if you are more of a white or green tea person. My morning cuppa almost always consist of a black tea and I found the Old Tree Black Tea was best with no alteration from sweeteners or cream. Though I did enjoy it with sugar and cream, it tasted best straight from the teapot. For me, this was a tea that was best enjoyed hot.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!