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
Renaissance of a millennium old tribunal yellow tea
For the same refreshing, cleansing sensation as the finest Huangshan Maofeng, ample green tea’s health constituents, yet with the absence of astringency, a yellow tea like Huo Shan Huang Ya ( i.e. Yellow Tips ) is a best choice. This superb first flush selection is produced almost like a Maofeng green tea but lightly oxidised by covering the tea when it is still very warm during processing. The heat converted some of the leaf constituents into simpler sugars. This particular step gives a softer, sweeter and much easier taste but as delightfully quenching and more body. The concept of this technique has been millennium old, yet it is only in recent years that really fine tasting products become available and accessible. Distinctive as Tea Hong’s Huo Shan Yellow Tips is still rare.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu 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.
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.
Originally labelled as “Floral Aroma Tea”, today Paochong is produced in many parts of Taiwan and China, but that in the northern part of Taiwan around Taipei, where it made its name*, remains the most reputable. The highest quality is found in only a few small family farms where the traditional craft continues to pass on and evolve. Like that of Master Weng. Although his production management is certified as ISO22000, this 5th generation tea farmer insists that processing is an art and personally attends to all details of the workflow. That is probably why his farm has won in not only Paochong competitions but also a nationally awarded agricultural entity. Tea Hong is proud to present the best work of this highly devoted tea master. Likely to bring a much more joyous experience than any of what made the tea famous in the past centuries, for what the arts and science, love and sweats have accumulatively invested in its making.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
Huangshan (translate: Yellow Mountain) is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a China national conservation. Besides beautiful sceneries, it is also the origin for many a fine teas, such as Huangshan Maofeng. The tender young leaf shoot to make Huangshan Spring Equinox is always plucked with one or two tiny immediate leaves. A much sought after green tea amongst connoisseurs worldwide.
Net weight: 40 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
Guifei Oolong ( or Honey Concubine Tea, literally translated ) is a deep-baked, medium oxidation ( 25 ~ 30% ) oolong produced from the Ruan Zhi cultivar in the Dong Ding ( Cold Peak ) area. It is different from the traditional Cold Peak oolong. The leaves of Guifei are bitten by green leafhoppers before plucking. The bug attack triggers a chain of biochemical reactions in the leaves that result in the complex honey notes that typify this tea. It was inspired by the way Oriental Beauty acquires its unique taste profile. However the two teas taste very differently through each’s own unique oolong processing approaches and pluck timing.
The tea was invented after the devastation of an earthquake in September 1999, when the farmers had to create more revenue to rebuild their lost homes.
Fired to perfection by our producer Chen Yu Wen, the tea was awarded Silver Medal in the annual Guifei Oolong competition, and aged to perfection at our own den in Hong Kong.
Please choose from two package options:
Kraft-alu pillow — Content net weight: 70 grams (2.5 oz)
Original tin can — Content net weight: 150 grams (5.3 oz)
In the green tea grand tradition, a fine quality is defined not by a single virtual, but rather a balance of several epicurean characteristics. Such as that between the floral and the chestnutty aspects of this tea. Or that between its sweet and herbaceous characters. To contain such richness in these pine needle like tiny tealeaves, it requires not only a great horticultural environment but also mastery in harvesting and production processing. The multiple steps of roasting, rolling and baking have to be optimally timed, temperatured and delicately performed. We proudly present Xin Yang Maojian, the essence of a grand tradition humbly packaged in these delicately rolled minuscule leaves.
Whether you come onto this page for the name of this “one of the 10 most famous Chinese teas”, or that you want to find a better tasting version than the last one you bought somewhere else, Tea Hong’s Xin Yang Maojian is a fine green tea that is suitable for whole day drinking or that special aficionado tea competition party.
Net weight: 70 g (2.5 oz) in Kraft-alu pack