As we grow older, we tend to mellow out. The same can be said about many teas. And this one has been around for a while.
This aged Iron Buddha (An old school name for Iron Goddess of Mercy) was sold to us as an early 1990’s production. The aged tea business is rife with counterfeits and fakes, and as this tea came to us from a private collector, we decided, rather than making bold claims, it would be far more fair, and likely more true, to promote it as a late 90’s / early 2000s production. It could be older… But you can decide that for yourself.
It is often traditional for oolongs to be reroasted as they age, to control humidity which can cause an overly sour taste, and to add additional complexity. After tasting this tea, a history of being fired several times is evident. However, the roughness and intensity that a charcoal roasting can at times give a tea, has long since retired, and has smoothed out into something much more beautiful.
The taste is rich and complex, with a soft and mellowed roast quality that brings to mind tastes of minerals and antique woods. Notes of charred oak barrels are dominant on the front, with a smooth antique shop vibe throughout and carries forward as mouth filling florals, reminiscent of orchid, emerge in the finish. As is typical with aged oolong, the slightest hint of sour plum is present in the first infusions, and often reappears for brief instances within the aftertaste.
A smooth matured tea, with zero bitterness, a calming energy, great mouthfeel, and wisdom to share.