The fine mastery that produces Tea Hong’s Honey Orchid has to be coupled with select first flush harvests from high grown tea bushes in order to deliver the kind of quality only a restricted circle of tea aficionados have known and kept to their secret. The overall production volume for such quality in the whole Phoenix region is only a few thousand kilos after all. Most will go to local elites, and the rest to the few hardcore Phoenix oolong fans that are also tea merchants, like us.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
To most people, teas from Taiwan are synonymous with high mountain oolongs. Officially, these are the four top subregions for the tea: Alishan, Shan Lin Xi, Li Shan, and Yu Shan. We already carry quite a few Alishan’s, to find one from the others, we have been relentlessly searching. It has to be one comparable to those from Alishan but individualistic enough.
Shan Lin Xi — literally Stream of Cypress Woods — is an area deep in a national reserve in the mountainous central area of the island country. Two hour driving from the station in the small city of Chia Yi, you will have climbed 1000m on the curvy roads deep in the sparse village areas with dense tall trees and quite many degrees lower than down there. Tea patches are hidden here and there amongst forests, occasional clusters of bamboos and a great diversity of wild plants.
The same Chin Hsin Gan Chi cultivar grown here yields leaves that seem to have acquired a different character, a somehow lighter yet more complex, more stimulating tinkle. Previously when I was still operating a teahouse, some customers came to do Zen with tea as the medium. I guess this Shan Lin Xi Oolong can be one for it too.
Net weight: 70 g (2.5 oz) in Kraft-alu pillow pack
Most green tea varieties made in Taiwan are processed with an approach so minimalist that the quality of the harvest and the characteristics of the cultivar almost entirely dictate the resultant taste profile. Processing skills are needed there to optimise it but when the weather or harvesting condition are not good, there is not a lot one can do during processing to salvage the quality.
In order to deliver the very best representation of what a premium Taiwan green tea can be, we have chosen a flavourful cultivar that many have used to produce black teas and Oriental Beauty with for our green tea: TTES#17*.
Tea Hong’s Snowy Egret is made in a specially designated farm from only the first flush of Bai Lu and masterfully handmade by the farm’s owner. Still, a fine harvest like this one in offer cannot be taken for granted every year.
Deep in the mountains in Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan tea trees grow wild amongst other woods and plants in Bulang Shan. Ethnic mountain people, particularly women, bring with them wood ladders and a plank for platform for plucking in tea season, perhaps as it has always been since antiquity. As a continuation of this tradition, Bulang Silver Spring is hand-processed and slow dried over wood charcoal the same way. This shengcha puer is bright and refreshing when consumed as a new tea, or can be put away for maturity.
It is said that the indigenous people in Yiwu Mountain began using tea for its medicinal purposes in the third century. The cure would soon became a beverage habit and later a trading commodity. Regardless of history, Yiwu is indeed one of the most renowned region in Yunnan for the tea’s fragrance. We have discovered a great value batch to share with you for a taste of this character without the usual unreal price tag. By design, there are two younger teas in this Puer Maocha series and this is one of them. Some people like their maocha fresher, while others prefer it aged. Enjoy!
The very same cultivar which leaves that make the black tea, Fragrance of Taiwan — Red Jade — is employed to make this unique white tea. Where the black tea has an upfront distinctive character which tea novices may need time to grow into, the white tea version is a lot friendlier for understanding this wonderful camellia formosenisis species with.
Hong Yu Deep White has the light and easy first impression like other white teas, but that will grow in your palate to the roundness of an aged black tea and the floral character of an oolong. An unmistakable gastronomical signature uniquely its own seamlessly holds all elements together as a continuum of olfactory-palatial sensation experience.
Tea Hong’s Mo Gan Yellow Snails is a break away from the old Mo Gan Yellow Tip. We have greatly modified traditional yellowing to give the tea a distinctive yellow look and a taste that is different from both green tea and old style yellow tea. A neo-yellow.
Unlike other tea categories, old style yellow tea has not prospered in all these decades since tea’s revival after the destructive Mao era. Its taste needs a lot more to create followers.
Similarly from the mountain of Mo Gan in the region of Zhejiang, Tea Hong’s Mo Gan Yellow Snails has departed from the dull colours of the old to maintain a brisk freshness in the look and taste, while achieving a characteristic “cooked” warmth and sweetness that is the real spirit of yellow tea. Now that is a good individualistic character to have a place in any tea repertoire.
Deep in Wudong, the most revered area for Fenhuang Dancong production, the village of Shèmen ( sheh-mehn ) is home to one of the most elusive traditional style oolongs. Here the Shè ( 畬 ) tribe settled a thousand years ago and began producing oolong to bake it in a way that was copied in Wuyishan a few hundred years later to produce Wuyi oolongs. Tea Hong’s double baked and matured Shèmen Dancong is our best attempt to reconstruct the same tea of the peace-loving and hard-working Shè people 10 centuries ago. This old style oolong gives a clear and most eloquent definition of the tea term yan-yun — music from the rock. The term has been mostly employed to describe better Wuyi oolongs yet it has never been more beautifully defined by this Phoenix tea. If you ever wonder about the relationship of the oolongs between the two regions, this may well be the link you are looking for.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack