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The toasted sweet wood aroma of Tieguanyin Deep Brown comes from baking of the tea in low fire over times. Fire changes not only the color and taste but also its health nature. Those people who may feel nausea after other teas, including green or black ones, greener Tieguanyin or other oolongs, will likely be better off using this one. Baking also makes this tea suitable for storing for maturity. A good digestive.
A very special tea bush — Camellia sinensis cultivar Shidaye — makes this unique looking tea. Each and every tediously selected pluck is carefully flattened between meshes during the slow baking process, giving the appearance of feathers in the cap, literally. We select only the best of these top grades for the fresh, cooling and cleansing sensations that makes enjoying this tea also true to the meaning of the expression.
To acquire really fine Long-jing in rapidly changing China, we had to search away from tourists infested localities, and yet still faithful to the origin of Hangzhou. In Wu’s farm where the underground water is crisp and the air sweet, our Long-jing master realizes the environment is more important than the convenience; there would be no quality without the traditional respect for Nature. Tea Hong’s Long-jing Spring Equinox might well be used by nobles and mandarins in their tea competition when Emperor Qianlong was still young and flamboyant, and crazy about the tea.
Unlike other green teas that are prized for plucking early in Spring, the leaves for making a fine Luan Guapian are waited until the young leaf buds are open and quite spread out. It is this growth that gives the leaves the biochemistry that yields enough pectin for the velvety texture and the 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.
While White Peony from Fuding tastes more floral, that from the other earliest region, Zhenghe, tastes longer and deeper. The more tedious curing process is marked by the darker colors on the leaves. This is the best and most classical representation from the origin, aka King of White Peony, a favorite by many white tea connoisseurs.