Naivetea Story – TÉ OOLONG
As the only company in the U.S. to focus specifically on Taiwanese oolong teas, Naivetea works exclusively with the finest small-production tea farmers in Taiwan’s renowned tea-growing regions to procure the highest quality tea possible, many of which are otherwise only available in Taiwan and China.
Naivetea offers a selection of Taiwan’s finest oolong teas, hand-made porcelain tea ware and exclusive blends of infused teas. Working with the best tea masters, the majority of Naivetea
’s teas are all from high-altitude regions or regions with a rich heritage and culture of producing a specific tea, which give them greater purity, aroma and flavor. Like the grapes used to make fine wines, these teas from different regions each embody the characteristics of the area in which they were grown.
The Naivetea line includes a range of 18 pure oolong teas from
different regions, which boast an array of natural flavors and aromas
such as sweet, floral, fruity, roasted wood and caramel.
Also in the Naivetea family are a selection of teas infused with
the essence of fruits and flowers, such as lychee, peach and
lavender. Unlike many commercially-infused teas, which are simply “sprayed” with the flavor, Naivetea’s are infused the traditional way, by allowing the tea to actually absorb the flavors naturally from the raw ingredients after the fermentation process.
Naivetea founders Ann Lee and Lawrence Lai (center)
with teafarmer friends in Ping Lin
Wen Shan Bao Zhong, Mu Zha Tie Guan Yin, Formosa (Oriental Beauty), and Dong Ding are not high-altitude, but very region-specific to the original areas that made these teas famous.
The Chinese character in our logo means “uncut jade,” signifying all things pure and natural – the ideal characteristics of quality tea. For hundreds of years, the Taiwanese have enjoyed oolong tea as a way to retain balance and commune with friends and nature in daily life. We hope to bring serenity and bliss to your home through Naivetea.
Oolong is the traditional tea of Taiwan, where the process of plucking, refining and brewing its leaves has been perfected into an art form over the last 200 years. Naivet
ea’s oolong comes from artisan tea farms, nestled in the prominent tea regions of Ping Lin and Mu Zha in Northern Taiwan and Shan Lin Shi and Li Shan in Central Taiwan. We use time-honored, traditional methods, allowing the tea to actually absorb the flavors naturally from the raw ingredients after the fermentation process. The result is an authentic, subtly balanced tea that honors the natural elegance of oolong.
Closeup of a tea leaf optimal for oolong – two leaves and one bud
Naivetea’s award-winning farmers use 100% natural methods to enhance the unique characteristics the land imbues. Naivetea products have true terroir, in much the same way that a fine wine does.
Naivetea’s Oolong Tea Process
- With the exception of special summer teas, most oolong tea plants are harvested twice a year, once in the late fall and once in the spring
- To ensure consistent shape, size and flavor profiles, only the top two leaves and bud are plucked for Naivetea’s classic and high altitude oolongs
- The tea leaves are wilted outdoors, then brought inside to rest on bamboo trays to continue wilting and start the fermenting process
- To achieve the desired fermentation level, which results in the oolong’s complex aroma, the tea leaves are shuffled four or five times for a few minutes every 60 to 90 minutes, to ensure even moisture evaporation and create a slight “bruising” on the edge of the leaf
- The leaves are heated to stop the fermentation process
- Once teas reach optimum fermentation, they are pressed to evenly distribute moisture throughout the individual leaves and coat the outside to ensure the aroma and flavor can be released more efficiently during steeping
- For some varieties, the tea leaves are rolled to create the desired ball shape
- For our flavored teas, a specific fruit or flower essence is added to infuse its flavor and aroma into the leaves
- The final step before packing is roasting the leaves to produce different aromas and flavors – roasting contributes significantly to aroma and flavor in Dong Ding and Tie Guan Yin; others only go through enough to ensure the leaves are dry
Naivetea’s artisan tea masters meticulously oversee the entire process to decide when each step is complete. Times can change greatly due to natural variables in temperature. The entire tea harvesting and fermentation process can take anywhere from one, non-stop 24-hour day to two or three days (for fermented oolongs such as Formosa, Dong Ding and tie Guan Yin) or even several years for some aged teas.