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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Some people like their green tea soft and sweet, others may prefer a good umami. Yet this leaf shoot tea is neither. Its bitterness is accented by its sharpness on a bold, full body. After Longjing, of all the other green teas from the Zhejiang region, my personal strongest preference goes to Kaihua Longding. To me it is an alternative to a shot of single malt in a heavy evening, or an afternoon kick of espresso. Its pleasant aftertaste is paralleled by neither.
Since encountering the true quality of this tea, I have always wanted to put it in my collection, only to be refrained from extraordinary high asking prices. Genuine ones are rare after all. It has been extremely fortunate, after 13 years, to have located our current farmer willing to sell at this affordable price so we can offer it here to you.
Tea Hong’s Dragon Tip is Kaihua Longding at its very best.