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Long Kou Champagne | Oolong Tea
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Long Kou Champagne | Oolong Tea

This oolong tea was produced with qing xin da mao cultivar tea plants at Long Kou tea farm in Guangxi, China. The semi-wild tea material grown in a low-intervention, biodynamic farm environment yields an oolong tea with the signature rose and tropical fruit notes of traditional champagne oolong teas. These teas are commonly known as dongfang meiren ("Eastern Beauty"), or Bai Hao tea.


40g
$-.-

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Traditional
Modern
Origin:
Liuzhou, Guangxi, China
Process:
Bai Hao Oolong Process (65% oxidation)
Elevation:
400 Meters
Cup:
Rose Water, Fruit Punch, Juicy
Origin:
Liuzhou, Guangxi, China
Process:
Bai Hao Oolong Process (65% oxidation)
Elevation:
400 Meters
Cup:
Rose Water, Fruit Punch, Juicy

Story & Recipe

Typically, dongfang meiren is produced in northern Taiwan under strict fertilization methods to encourage Taiwanese tea leafhoppers (jacobiasca formosana) to bite the tea plants. These bites on the finished tea leaf are responsible for the tasting notes of rose and exotic fruits in the final cup. The leaves at Long Kou farm are bitten by these same tea jassids, thanks to the farm’s perfect habitat for a thriving insect population. This lot is hand-plucked at a 1:2 bud to leaf ratio. The leaves are then withered, bruised to 65% oxidation, and dried. The resulting oolong tea has all the makings of the typical champagne oolong without the shocking price tag, which can regularly be sold at $400/kg.

LONG KOU (龙口—"DRAGON MOUTH") TEA FARM
Deep in rural north-central Guangxi province, producer Mingfu Lei’s tea thrives in a largely untended biodynamic farm that is grown free of agrochemicals. His qing xin da mao cultivar tea plants were transplanted from Taiwan in the late 1940's and left to develop as old, semi-wild trees. Mingfu has a great nose for the subtle aromas that the production of dongfang meiren requires, and his teas are notorious for their layered aromas and sweetness.

OOLONG TEA
We can enjoy a wide range of aromas and flavors in oolong tea thanks to the different production styles and unique tea cultivars. The trademark characteristic of an oolong tea is the semi-oxidation process, but the degree of oxidation can range from 8% to 85% depending on the variety and length of time before firing. It requires great attention to both timing and temperature in repeated stages of rolling, shaping and firing until the desired amount of bruising and browning of leaves has been achieved. The final leaves are usually rolled into strands or curled into small beads.

BREW RECIPES
HOT (12oz)
Tea: 4g
Water: 350g
Water Temp: 200°F
Total Brew Time: 2 mins

COLD - Flash Brew (16oz)
Tea: 10g
Water: 200g
Water Temp: 200°F
Total Brew Time: 2 mins
• Add 200g of ice to shaker
• Fill cup with ice
• Shake tea over ice and decant into a cup with ice.

Farm Cost

The price here reflects not only the labor of growing and cultivating the tea, but also the respective farm’s years of skilled handling, quality of regional cultivars, and oftentimes processing work that may include milling, drying, steaming, oxidation process, and more. We partner with friends like Hugo Tea Company to identify quality teas, where within we seek to uphold transparency and quality. Due to the varying weights of each type of tea, at this time, we are listing the rough cost for each tea box. This tea was purchased at $105 per kilogram.

$4.20

Transportation

This number represents the cost incurred while the tea was moved from the producing country to Onyx Coffee Lab in Arkansas. The price listed below is the cost we incurred per kilogram of tea via designated express micro-lot shipping by air transport. It varies for each tea based on the overall volume and density of the shipment.

$1.80

Production Cost

The following list includes many of the costs associated with producing this tea. We have always maintained transparency as a principle but have often lumped these things under the label of “production costs” in the past without going into detail.

There is an inherent difference in handling tea versus coffee, where most teas are fully processed at a processing facility in the region or at the tea farm itself. There is intensely skilled labor that comes with the drying, oxidation, rolling, steaming and packing processes. Tea is also physically very delicate, and extra care is taken in handling each dried leaf or bud to maintain the structural integrity of tea.

While the following list isn’t exhaustive, hopefully, it gives you a picture of the work, expense, and investment involved in executing tea at the level that we do. At this time we are listing our cost of production for each pound of tea at around $3.40. There are obviously many other aspects of running a business such as breakage, mistakes, new equipment and maintenance, but this works as an arbitrary cost associated with making one box of tea.

Fixed Costs
These are costs associated with simply having a business. Things like utilities of internet, natural gas, phones, rent, business licenses, fees, etc. These things increase every year. For example, most commercial leases increase by 2% every year. We periodically look at these costs and try to reduce expenses, but work in this area are small moves of the needle as these are mostly the same and usually increase every year.

Packaging
This is all the things that go into packaging the tea to get it safely to your home. There’s the biodegradable bag, the recyclable box, the compostable mailer, different boxes for bulk shipping, the paper that pads the tea, tape, and a few odds and ends. (Read about our new retail packaging HERE). These costs are separate from the tea, but a part of the cost of producing tea that is packed well and ready to ship and consume. We want our teas to arrive in a secure fashion, looking like it did when it left Onyx: with style and design but also keeping the environment in mind. Shipping packages inevitably have waste associated and we’re working towards sustainability at each step.

Labor
At Onyx, we work to make jobs both sustainable and celebrated, and we pay salaries, provide health insurance, and give regular raises to our staff. Often we have a handful of staff that get celebrated, but everyone on our team contributes and is valuable. Likewise, we wish to pay our tea partner, Hugo Tea Co, for all their skilled labor in tea handling (from hand massaging oils to create phenomenal Earl Grey or the careful packaging of each tea box). Onyx is not just a brand or a design or a café, we are truly made by every person we work with.

We all know it takes work to make anything. Hugo’s sourcing approach echoes our own, which has more labor involved than you may think. Because we visit every Relationship Coffee producer, that means our green buying team of Jon and Dakota typically spend a total of six months traveling. We’re committed to visiting and cupping on the ground, this inevitably is an investment of time, of money, of long layovers, of encountering government coupes and protests, and forging some of the greatest friendships and seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. We appreciate that in working with the Hugo Tea team, Tyler and Logan, put equal dedication into sourcing these teas.

We have a creative team that helps create all things visible, digital, and print. These folks are very talented and have really helped push the dream of Onyx to the next level. We believe that tea can inherently be great, but having something that looks and feels good helps inform expectations, helps bring value, and tells the stories in this way has tangible and important value.

These are a few of the jobs we feel really have more involvement than might be imagined, but throughout Onyx there are touch points of intentionally positioned team members to help create the best possible beverage experiences.

Taxes
We all know what this is. We set aside and submit money every quarter for taxes along with paying all of the weekly and monthly taxes we are obligated to pay. This can be tough for a small business as there are ebbs and flows in cash flow, and taxes are often not paid in conjunction with the sales season.

$3.40

Fair Trade Min.

$0.00

C Market

$0.00

Cup Score

Lot Size

Lot size informs us of one thing: the size of that lot. Forming a single farm lot can often take just as much labor and experience as the large regional blends, depending on the level of labor or quality standards applied to each day or week’s pickings.

A great example of this would be matcha powder, which is often a carefully constructed sum of processed green teas that are often grown in different sections of a farm to create a balanced and intentional matcha experience. It may be built up on many different farms. This often signifies that the lot was built to reflect the flavor characteristics or unique cultivars of the region. Meanwhile, a larger lot size of a Yunnan black tea may end up being used in a variety of different teas, based on the final processing and any additional treatments before packaging.

80kg

Transparency Grade

Transparency

We as a company believe that transparency is unbelievably important. The point of listing things below is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries.

$9.40
$4.20
$1.80
$3.40
$0.00
$0.00
80kg

Transparency

We as a company believe that transparency is unbelievably important. The point of listing things below is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries.

$4.20
$1.80
$3.40
$9.40
80kg

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