After a year of practice and hard work, our own charcoal roasted oolongs are now ready for prime time! Find the first teas charcoal roasted in the U.S. here.
Charcoal Fired Oolong
Charcoal roasting is more than just adding a heavy roasted flavor to a tea. Charcoal is a natural heat source for finishing oolong teas, and was traditionally the only way to finish oolong tea before the dawn of electricity. It is not always heavy handed, and can bring out levels of nuance and detail. Like a wood fired pizza oven, a proper charcoal roast provides tea with a little extra something from the natural world.
A charcoal fire is a living fire. From the moment it is lit to the last embers ten days later, it is always changing. It is the job of the charcoal roaster to listen carefully to determine when the shape of the fire ‘fits’ the character of the tea to be roasted. A good charcoal roast utilizes the natural vibrations of the fire to clean up and enhance the vibrations of the tea.
When I first walked into Shiuwen's shop ten years ago, she brewed Master Zhan's charcoal fired Dong Ding for me and it opened up a door in my life. I'd already known that I was fascinated by tea, but this particular tea changed my understanding of what a good tea can do. This was the beginning of my path to start drinking tea with my body and my mind together, and before long I decided I wanted to be able to replicate what our teacher was doing.
Finally after many years of studying tea, Master Zhan took me on as a student to learn the art of charcoal roasting.
I spent a few months in Taiwan in Spring of 2021 to study with our teacher, and when I got home I began work on my charcoal roasting room. In November of 2021, I did my first roast, which was very educational. It took almost 8 months of 'tuition' roasts before, in July of 2022, I finally have a tea that has shone through the fire.
We are so excited and proud to share the fruits of our hard work with you. Because we get the raw tea direct from the farmer and do the work of finishing it ourselves, we are able to offer very clean and healthy teas for a good price. We hope you will enjoy them and brew them for your friends and loved ones.
Noah and the Floating Leaves Family