Fine pu’er tea produced by darkening shengcha (raw tea, or maocha) naturally through maturity has a distinct and pleasant herbaceous high note. It is a lost art that mass production has come to replace. To deliver the pleasant tasting effect of Tea Hong Raw Reserve requires much specialistic attention in the process that is not common in the trade nowadays. This is what good pu’er used to taste like before controlled post-fermentation.
Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pillow pack
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.
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.
White Peony Fuding is a traditional fine quality Bai Mudan from the origin of Fuding. It is a preferred daily tea for its light; sweet, floral and refreshing taste. Others drink it for the health benefits of a fine white tea. Many teashops offer this as the best white tea. We think it is best for the price.
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.