The Taster's difficult decision...

October 10, 2012
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The Taster's difficult decision...

The work of an importer-taster, as you may well imagine, is not always simple. This year, for example, the renowned Taiwanese wulong, Bai Hao (AKA Oriental Beauty) was a little disappointing, failing to dazzle us with its spicy, floral and honeyed notes. In this case it was not the fault of the producers. It was more to do with the capricious weather conditions, way much precipitation to the Taiwanese growing region during the summer months. This destabilized the leaf chemistry, depriving the tea of its precious flavors and aromas.

The scarcity of quality crop raised the price of Bai Hao 2012 significantly. Hugo, our Taiwan tea taster/specialist, having scoured the region was faced with a harvest of less than average quality at a higher than normal price. He had to make the difficult decision of not buying a Bai Hao for the catalogue this year at the risk of disappointing many enthusiasts.

Hugo reflected that despite all the reputation of a great classic tea like this, it is not the legend of great years that makes a premium tea, but the know-how of the artisans and the alignment of a great many natural variables.

All is not lost, however, Hugo is now cupping the freshly picked Autumn Bai Hao....

Fingers crossed!!

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