Anxi Hairy Crab (Mao Xie) Oolong
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The Hairy Crab cultivar is native to the area around Da Ping in Anxi County, Fujian Province. (Anxi, of course, is the place associated with the famous Chinese cultivar, Tie Guan Yin.) It is named for the downy hairs that cover its leaves.
There are generally two styles of the finished Hairy Crab tea: a light green style with lower oxidation of between 25-40%, and a medium roast tea that undergoes 35-50% oxidation. Our version is the former. The budset (leaf and 2-3 leaves), which are rolled into tight balls and a mix of light and dark greens, unfurl to a truly delicious cup that has a thicker and sweeter taste than its famous cousin, Tie Guan Yin. It is an oolong that can be served hot or iced (and works wonderfully as the tea base for Kombucha!).
Ripe peach overtone and a fragrance comparable to that of jasmine.
Additional information: The unusual name of this tea refers to a culinary specialty. The Chinese mitten crab has distinctive hairy claws and is a delicacy in the fall, especially in Shanghai. During the season, special dinners are planned, and one can see workers tying up these freshwater crustaceans so the claws are secure and can’t do any damage to shoppers surveying the size and gender. The prized roe or crab butter is labour intensive to extract and makes a rich sauce for silken tofu or tiny freshwater baby shrimp. With such a moniker, it is hard to resist trying Hairy Crab oolong, one of Fujian’s better known oolong varietals.