During the many re-shufflings of the leaves in the post-fermentation process, some of the most tender leaf shoots with naturally higher percentage of pectin stick together, forming these small nuggets. Since they have the highest concentration of vitality substances but less bitter ones as the youngest of the leaves, ‘cha tou’ tastes smoother, sweeter and softer. Tea Hong’s top quality Cream of Puer is made only from prime spring harvests for even better taste and health compositions. A real treat for people who enjoy shu cha pu’er.
Soft, sweet earthy aroma with hints of dried fruits, cane sugar and Chinese liquorice. Transparent, dark rosewood colour infusion. Smooth, softly sweet body with light accents of American ginseng and Chinese liquorice on rolled oat undertone, carried by a silky soft texture. Lingering and long sweet and quenching aftertaste with light hints of the mentioned sweet roots.
Do blanch the nuggets well before infusion at 100°C. This helps to open up the leaves as well as removing residues of the post-fermentation processing for a cleaner taste profile. Longer infusion time with less leaves yields a smoother and sweeter body while the reverse gives a more intense first impression. If you are not familiar with the taste of Cha Tou, it is a good idea to start with a tealeaves to water ratio of 1g to 100ml and steep for at least 5 min. Adjust after you feel more confident of playing with this tea. Take note also that the nuggets have a higher mass density than other loose leaf teas.
Some people think that all pu’er teas need a long maturity before it is the best. That actually is not the case for Tea Hong’s Cream of Puer. We have maintained a good storage and maturing practice before this tea is offered at consumer packs so the tea is ready for optimum enjoyment at any time. However, if you prefer, you may further mature it for even better sweetness and softness. Please do not follow common Mainland Chinese practice of storing this tea in the open or packing them in paper. Keep it in the original package and store as any other teas in a cool, dim environment away from moisture and other elements.
Note: Some teashops break stale pu’er discuses ( cakes ) into small pieces to sell as cha tou. Don’t be fooled.
A great showcase for why the name of the tea came about centuries ago, great discipline in the use of fire distinguishes Cassia Extraordinaire from most other Wuyi varieties with a supple, deliciously floral and delicate scent balanced with a full, lively body. This is Wuyi Cassia at its best.
Unlike other green teas that are prized for plucking early in Spring, leaves of Da Guazi need to be quite open in order to make a fine Luan Guapian. This gives the proper biochemistry that yields enough pectin for the tea’s signature velvety texture and slightly sweet character. This unique nature is possible only with a special local cultivar — Da Guazi — Big Melon Seed, hence the funny name. If Longjing is too savoury and Taiping Houkui is too “green” for you, Lu’an Guapian is a great alternative of high quality with a different, yet pleasant and lively character.
Produced using a Phoenix native cultivar Da Baiye ( i.e. Big White Leaf ), and has certain taste similarity as the rarer Song Cultivar Huangzhi Xiang, this tea is popular amongst traders for use as a substitute for the pricier label. Tea Hong’s top quality selection, Big White is certainly a good demonstration of how this tea can fool the lesser experienced connoisseurs. That said, however, the trained tongue can certainly tell it is a fine tea on its own for the uniqueness in its floral aroma, silky texture and soft, smooth body.
Cutting away from the main trail towards the more visited Zhongxin Yin and Lizai Ping, hidden away behind a spur, there is the quieter Wudong village Danhu. Shaded on the north of the dark rock mountain, it is cool here even at 4 pm on a summer day. The tea forests here are mostly made up of bushes 2 to 3 meters tall. Occasional 3 to 5 meter ones, each occupying a circular clearing around them, grow gloriously with their wide-spread crowns. Tiny patches of vegetables grown here and there under tea trees. The few families here have been tea farmers since their grandfathers remembered. As to when the old bush for our Song Cultivar have been here, no one can really tell.