Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Cloudwalker Teas
This truly is a beautiful tea… The ‘Elixir of Immortality’ or Bu Lao Dan is very special. This tea is produced on Wu Yi Mountain according to the traditional formula of an ancient Taoist sect. These Taoist renunciates believed that this tea would help to prolong their lives and aid in their practice of austerities. The processing of this tea is overseen by a Taoist master and takes between two to three years to complete. Basically it involves exposing the leaves to the sun and moonshine in certain places, for set periods of time, and then storing the leaves in large earthenware containers. This process of exposing and “resting” the leaves is repeated many times over the period of years, and the results are nothing short of remarkable. Those who have been to Wu Yi know that this is a very special place – the long time stronghold of Taoist and Buddhist sects. The experience of drinking this tea is something akin to drinking in the wisdom of this sacred Mountain. Much like the the nine peaks of Wu Yi, this tea is strong, enduring, and suffused with a subtle yet forceful power (subtle for some – not so subtle for others).
Wow! This tea brews up exceptionally dark. Surprisingly dark for an Oolong tea – heck, it is even dark for a black tea! It looks more like a Shu Pu-erh, rather than an Oolong. In addition, the aroma of the brewed liquor has an earthy quality to it that reminds me of Pu-erh.
This is a very interesting tea. I am tasting characteristics in this cup that remind me of an Oolong, a black tea, and a Pu-erh all in one. I can taste a slightly earthy quality to it that gives it a Pu-erh kind of taste. I can taste a light buttery flavor that makes way to a very smooth, silky mouthfeel – very Oolong-ish! Then I taste a malty, almost smoky, baked kind of flavor to it too – that is very much like a black Assam (with maybe just a leaf or two of Lapsang Souchong!)
This is truly one of the most rewarding teas I’ve encountered in a long time. I love the complexity. It is so very different from any single tea that I’ve ever tried, and yet at the same time, it is very much like many different teas that I’ve tried!
On the Cloudwalker Teas website, this is listed as a “Cliff Tea“. Here is some additional information about the Cliff Teas that are available from Cloudwalker Teas:
Cloudwalker Teas is pleased to be able to offer this selection of cliff teas by one of the most well known and regarded tea masters of Asia. Unfortunately we can’t tell you who he is. The master in question is a private man and says that he does not want to attract any more attention to himself, but simply hopes that more people outside his circle of students may be able to experience what constitutes a truly fine rock tea. A labour of love for this tea master, each year he personally travels to Wu Yi Mountain national park in China to oversee the harvesting, processing and packaging of these legendary teas. He works closely with a group of local producers at Wu Yi mountain, who hand roast the leaves. Hand roasted cliff teas are very rare, and Cloudwalker is very pleased to be the first western tea company to be able to offer teas of such high quality. This introductory selection of his rock teas is offered on a trial basis and under certain conditions, one being that they only be sold in small quantities to ensure that these rare and exquisite teas may be shared by as many people as possible. In drinking them one comes to realize very quickly why this love affair exists between this master and these teas, a love that all who taste them will certainly share.
This tea is a MUST TRY for all tea enthusiasts!