The production of genuine Dong Fang Mei Ren involves a process that is a synthesis of that of a black tea and of a white tea, in addition to bites by green leafhoppers before plucking. Tea Hong’s Silver Moon Himalaya skips the bug part and has instead a superb growing environment under the pristine air and water on the roof of the world. Also the calming chill of the night and sweet dews that shy away on the leaves on the touch of the orange ray in the Himalayan morning. Same tenderly produced by master tea makers studying from Taiwan masters, this unique semi-oolong is a gem of tea gastronomy. Can be infused using either gongfu or conventional methods.
Floral aroma in an overtone of freshly pressed sugarcane juice and the sweet warmth of baking cookies. Accent of watercress with hints of lemongrass and thyme. Brisk, fruity body with apple sweetness and herbaceous brightness. Bitter undertone with bites of pomelo peel. Like all teas west of Yunnan, this semi-oolong can be very strong when infused with a high leaf ratio or for a long duration. Use this to your advantage for enjoying with condiments or other ingredients. This is a great tea for testing your gongfu infusion skills because the floral and fruity aspects can be well interpreted with subdued bitterness and astringency when the “gongfu” is right.
To appreciate the subtle nuances of this fine tea, always preheat the infusion vessel. Infuse at 95°C and not over 7 minutes. If you are using the gongfu approach, adjust tealeaves amount, temperature and water flow so you can infuse for at least 20 sec in the first round. Be aware that the size, shape, material and thickness distribution of the infusion vessel play vital roles in the effects of the infusion.
Unlike their Taiwan or Chinese counterparts, the adapted cultivars grown in this area yield teas with higher astringency and bitterness. Begin with 30% less than you would use Chinese blacks or oolongs in leaves to water ratio to understand how the tea relates to your palatial preference.
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.
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.
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.
For people who like classic style Phoenix but desire something more mellow than Honey Orchid, Orchid Gratus offers a taste that is as full-bodied. It is balanced with as subtle a warm and slightly sweet aroma. Not only is this a great choice for the veteran tea connoisseur who seeks peace in the cup, but is also a bridge between softer oolongs and the more vibrant world of taste in Fenghuang Dancong.