Not many black teas can achieve a smooth and full body. To have a floral, yet warm aroma with spicy sweetness and complexity of dried fruit would be a luxury. Tongmuguan One makes it even better by delivering the whole package with a sophisticated balance and yet subtle uniqueness unfound in its peers. A very limited batch produced in the mecca of xiao zhong gungfu black tea, Tongmuguan, this finely processed leaves of Meizhan is precious not because it is rare, but because it is so demanding to produce to this quality. It is not every year that we can achieve a gem like this.
Tong-mu-guan — Gate of Princess Woods — has always been claimed as the origin of all black teas. Although much of the hype is re-appropriation for marketing, what we know for sure is that this small area in Xing Cun, where the first black tea was recorded to have traded in history, has been a crucible for the renaissance of extremely high quality processing and horticulture. Our much demanded Lapsang Souchong Pristine is also from this area.
Tea farm in Tongmuguan, Xing Cun, Wuyi Shan, Fujian
In the depth of Wuyi, Tongmuguan’s farmers and producers have always wanted to create a black tea that can achieve the complexity of the fine oolongs this mountainous region is so reputable for. The quintessential production cultivar Meizhan* has been called into action. For over a decade our farmer has been fine-tuning processing techniques to best interpret the quality leaves from his first flush harvest. We think the best is what we have to present here — Tongmuguan One.
Made with a much-modified xiao-zhong gongfu black tea process, this rare batch yields a floral, slightly sweet and complex profile that has some of the best characters from both the oolong and the black tea categories. A must try for any true tea connoisseurs.
Warm and round aroma on an overtone of sun-dried longan, with accents of maltose, woodsy spice, caramel and fresh cookies. Persistent floral undertone. Silky texture. Light hints of cream on a malty, full-bodied, smooth infusion. Quenching and cleansing sensation. Very light accents of honey, anise, nutmeg and citrus peel tinkle the long, malty, mouth-watering aftertaste.
Tea plucking in Tongmuguan
To achieve the delicious taste profile and silky texture, use a near boiling water on a 1.5 to 100 ratio for 7 minutes. Don’t forget to preheat the infusion vessel. Alternatively, 5 to 100 ratio in the gongfu style for 30 seconds give more of the aromatic characters but not as full in the body. Reduce the ratio, but not the time, if you are a tea beginner. An excellent tea to explore infusion techniques with as well as for general entertainment. To some of our team, it is the only black tea to drink.
* Meizhan originates from the Minnan region ( south of Fujian ) and has been a popular production cultivar in Wuyi. The leaves attain a very different taste profile here in the unique micro climate and soil conditions to yield oolongs and black teas quite impossible in the south or other lesser environment. An example is Meizhan Classic, a tea similar to the material traders have been using to blend with other teas to fake as Da Hong Pao. Because of the plant’s popularity for productivity reasons, quality in the final products does vary exceedingly. In Tongmuguan One, we have only employed premium harvests from matured trees in the proper origin.
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