This tea is certified organic and produced to fair labor standards.
Gui Shan is our answer to a tea market saturated with low-quality, conventional oolongs—like with pu'er, the Chinese oolong scene is muddied with misinformation and bottom-tier farming practices, so sourcing a selection that was a unique reflection of terroir / producer mastery and that checked all our boxes for sustainability and fair labor was a challenge. We met that challenge, and our years of effort were rewarded with an oolong totally unparalleled.
A lightly oxidized, crinkle-rolled oolong, Gui Shan is the brainchild of Mingfu Lei, our partner at Long Kou Farm in Guangxi. As a wine connoisseur and master of aroma (as evidenced by our Jasmine Bai Hao, another of his fine works), Mr. Lei committed himself to producing for Hugo a deeply floral oolong with layered herbaceous notes and undertones of bright spice. While we've cupped more commonly recognized oolongs—like Taiwanese high-mountain varieties or Fujian Province's famed Tieguanyin—Gui Shan's delicate magnolia blossom fragrance and huigan (lingering sweetness in the throat) earned it the position as our flagship offering.
Gui Shan loosely translates to "Guangxi (Gui) Folding Fan (Shan)"—named so for its distinctive shaping. Falling more so on the green side of the oxidation scale, this tea maintains much of the terroir's qualities—Long Kou farm is exceptionally well-managed and surrounded by acres of orange groves, lending the tea trees complex, concentrated sweetness and a spice quality that borders on pleasant astringency but doesn't quite cross over into bitterness.
notes — wildflower honey | sandalwood | white pepper
nomenclature — gui (桂)—"guangxi" | shan (扇)—"folding fan"
style — non-traditional
cultivar — qing xin da mao
region — guangxi province
locale — long kou farm
producer — mingfu lei
vintage — spring 2019
(use freshly boiled mineral water)
(100 ml small vessel—yixing teapot, gaiwan)
5 grams—180°F (82°C)—10 seconds + 15 seconds each additional steep
(350 ml large vessel—teapot BOLI, kettle steeper)
2.5 grams—180°F (82°C)—3 minutes