<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Our Teas

GREEN TEA

Tea Brewing Instructions

Yang Xian Mao Feng

Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province are the best regions in China for growing green tea. The region is known for its sunny skies, gently rolling hills and flowing streams. It is no accident that great teas are grown there. The most renowned is Yang Xian Mao Feng, which according to the Imperial Annals, became an imperial tribute tea at the beginning of the Song Dynasty—hence, a tea with an 800 year history.
    
The tea itself is known by its long delicate leaves, which are quickly fired and turn a dark jade green. When steeped, the tea is wonderfully fragrant, and leaves a lingering sweetness on the palate.
    
This method of firing tea is a Southern Song dynasty invention, and has led to the way in which present day green teas are produced. It is a method which leaves intact all those elements which are most beneficial to health, and maintains China’s role as the producer of the world’s finest green tea.

West Lake Dragon Well (Longjing)

Authentic West Lake Dragon Well is the world’s finest green tea. Picked in early spring, its hand processing requires great care. The leaves are thin and delicate; the pale green infusion possesses a wonder lingering sweetness.

This lightly fired green tea’s leaves are thin and blade-like, and covered with a golden sheen. Tea has been grown in the West Lake region since the Tang Dynasty (8th century A.D.).

It is here where the modern method of making green tea was first developed during the Song Dynasty. (Until this time all tea was in brick or cake form.) Dragon Well quickly became a favorite, and attained the status of an Imperial Tribute Tea.

Dragon Well is both a place name and the name of a spring. The region is known for its mild weather, low rolling mountains shrouded in mist, and pure water. The soil is particularly rich in the organic nutrients that are most suitable for green tea cultivation. At the birthplace of the modern green tea maker’s art, the 800 year old tradition of the world’s finest green tea continues.

Bi Luo Chun

Authentic Bi Luo Chun comes from Lake Tai, in Souzhou, Jiangsu province. This tea is only grown in a very small area, Piao Miao Mountain. Bi Luo Chun is picked early in the morning. The smallest buds are chosen and processed with care. Each leaf is the size of a sparrow’s tongue. It takes 60,000 buds for one pound of tea.  Bi Luo Chun is so delicate it should be brewed with cooler water, about 175 degrees F. Use a glass cup to see the beautiful tea dancing in the water. It is like fragrant snow in the ocean. This is one of the four precious green teas in China. It was a tribute tea beginning 800 years ago, in the Song Dynasty.

OOLONG TEA

Many of our Oolong teas are made using the Taiwanese process.

  1. The fresh leaves are picked early in the morning, one bud and two leaves.

  2. Soft fermentation under the sunshine is used.

  3. The tea is moved inside for the second fermentation. This is very important. The leaves are gently broken during this step to allow them to breath. This is the first caress of the tea leaf.

  4. Heat is carefully added to stop fermentation.

  5. The leaves are delicately rolled to make them soft.

  6. A first drying is done using heated air.

  7. A Taiwanese-style machine is used to form the leaves into beautiful shapes. The leaves are rolled and separated 6 to 8 times. This creates the ball style which resembles the tiny black dragons for which Oolong tea is named.

  8. In the finishing step, the length of drying can vary. Depending on the style of Oolong, this is sometimes done with a charcoal fire. This allows the creation of different styles.

Tie Kuan Yin

Grown in the Anxi region of China’s Fujian province, Tie Kuan Yin is the world’s most renowned Oolong tea. 40% oxidation results in a tightly wound, uniform tea that is very dense, sage green in color, and with what appears to be a light glazing of frost. The art of making Tie Kuan Yin is quite complicated, particularly as the tea nears completion. It is refired one final time at a very low temperature; at this point the most distinguishing feature of the tea (the light glazing of frost) appears on the outside of the tea as the remaining moisture is slowly steamed out.

The most authentic method for making Tie Kuan Yin (Gongfu Cha) requires the delicate tea wares from Yi Xing. The tiny pot fits in the palm of one’s hand, and the cups are walnut sized. The pot is filled half full with tea and prepared quickly, as a series of successive steeping bring out a perfume-like fragrance, which is balanced by a lingering sweetness on the tongue. The high point of this method of taking tea was reached during the Qing dynasty. Throughout Fujian, Chaozhou, and Quanzhou, teahouses flourished like mushrooms after a rain. At home, as well, this method of enjoying tea with guests was considered a mark of distinguished hospitality.

Bai Hao Oolong

Bai Hao Oolong is one of Taiwan’s and Fujian most renowned oolong teas. Oxidized 70%, the tea’s most distinguishing characteristic is the flash of silver which appears on the spear-like points of its most delicate leaves. After steeping, the tea produces the fruit-like sweetness of a black tea but with an incredible honey-like fragrance of an Oolong. Sweet and smooth, the tea is also called Oriental Beauty. Under this name, the tea obtained fame in Japan and Europe and won Gold Medals in Hangzhou and Japan.

Huan Jin Gui

Fujian’s Anxi Mountains are the birth place of Huan Jin Gui Oolong tea. Huan Jin Gui is the second most popular Oolong tea in Fujian province. This tea has a smooth lingering flavor of peaches.  Huan Jin Gui tea is a lightly fermented (20%) Oolong tea. Its one bud and two leaves are hand picked with care. The tea leaves are a beautiful golden yellow color. It takes 36 hours or more to process. When it is finished, the tea style is like a yellow dragon.

Anxi Pouchong (Bao Zhong)

An 18th century Fujian immigrant, Wang Yi Chen, was trying to develop a method of producing a tea like that grown in his native province’s Wuyi Mountains. His efforts created a new type of tea.  This new tea became very popular in northern Taiwan and was named Pouchong. In 1995 we moved the Pouchong tea plant from Taiwan back to its hometown, and began growing it in Fujian's central mountains. 

We created a special growing environment. The tea plants are covered with a black mesh to shade them. The covering causes the tea leaf to grow slower. This produces a darker green leaf, more sweetness, and an incredible fragrance.

To the unknowing eye, Pouchong’s long, jade-colored leaves resemble those of a green tea. However, its light fermentation brings out an intense floral fragrance and a soft, Oolong-like sweetness. Pouchong (Bao Zhong) tea is a lightly fermented (10%) Oolong tea. In appearance it resembles green tea, yet still retains an Oolong-like character. Pouchong tea leaves are long and striated, and a beautiful deep jade-green. When steeped, it is a brilliant honey-green and produces an elegant floral-like fragrance, one that is sweet and smooth to drink.

Zen Flower Oolong

Zen is one of Buddha's Ways. It helps the mind to concentrate and become peaceful. The scent of the Zen Flower makes people feel peaceful.

The Zen Flower only grows in Fujian’s central mountains and it blossoms in the summer. When this flower blooms, people can smell its fragrance from one mile away.

The Zen Flower fragrance combines well with Oolong tea. We use high mountain Oolong tea, Mao Shia, to create the Zen Flower Oolong. A cup of this tea allows the tea lover to enjoy both the flower and the Oolong.

Dong Ding

Dong Ding is the finest Oolong tea in Taiwan. We moved this Oolong variety from Taiwan in 1995, and began growing it in the high mountains of Fujian province. When we moved it, we brought with us Taiwanese technology to process this tea. This Dong Ding we produce has a flowery nose, with lingering sweetness and a hint of honey.

This tea has one bud and two leaves. The tea leaf is hand-picked in the early morning. Next it is fermented in the sunshine with care. For a second fermentation, the leaves are moved indoors and allowed to quietly rest and breathe. The Tea Master uses his knowledge and experience to decide when to stop fermentation by applying the first heat. Then the Taiwan technology is brought into play to make the ball style. The second heat is a charcoal fire. The traditional charcoal fire creates a special lingering flavor. The entire process takes 36 plus hours, during which the tea leaf never touches the ground. When brewed, the tea comes out a beautiful golden color: bright, shiny, pretty, and clean.

Our Dong Ding Oolong is the winner of a Silver medal in the Hangzhou International Tea Competition, in Hangzhou, China in 2000.

Jin Chuen #27 Oolong

Jin Chuen, also called Golden Lily, is an exciting new variety of Oolong tea. This plant was developed in Taiwan in 1980. This is a new tea plant, so the plant breeder gave it a number, #27. Jin Chuen uses light fermentation (15%-20%) and the Taiwanese process to create an incredible flowery fragrance. As soon as this tea was introduced to the Taiwan market, it became immensely popular with young people and with women because of the flowery fragrance. This innovative new tea changed the entire Taiwanese market for Oolong. Tea growers and manufacturers began creating light teas for the tea lover, in imitation of Jin Chuen. Our garden moved this plant from Taiwan to Fujian and used the Taiwanese process to create our distinctive and superior version of Jin Chuen.

In 2000 our high mountain Jin Chuen won the Gold Medal in the Hangzhou International Tea Competition.

JASMINE TEA

Pearl Jasmine

The first pearl jasmine tea was made in north Fujian province which is where our Pearl Jasmine is grown. This tea is shaped into tiny pearls, hence the name Pearl Jasmine. Pearl Jasmine tea is very popular with those who are just beginning to appreciate fine tea. Pearl Jasmine was introduced to the U.S. in 1997 and quickly became the most popular Jasmine tea.  Pearl Jasmine is also very popular in Germany. In China each Jasmine Pearl is shaped by hand using just the bud.  When brewed, these little Pearls open like flowers blooming in the Spring, bursting with flavor and the scent of Jasmine. High Mountain Spring Green Tea is shaped into pearls and is allowed to rest until July, when the Jasmine flowers bloom. The pearls are then combined with the scent of the Jasmine. This combination of tea and Jasmine scent is done a remarkable five times to produce the finest Pearl Jasmine tea.

Jasmine Silver Needle (Yin Hao)

Yin Hao Jasmine has a long history. Jasmine tea became a popular Chinese export in the middle of the 20th century. Before the 19th century there was no Jasmine tea in northern China. Then, a businessman from Fujian province brought Jasmine to Beijing.

Yin Hao is based on green tea and then scented with Jasmine flowers.  Jasmine quality is dependent on how many times the tea is scented. The five jasmine flower scenting makes the best Jasmine tea. Jasmine became the most popular tea in north China in the twentieth century. In Beijing, finally, Jasmine was almost the only choice.

Yin mean silver, hao is the white hair on the tea leaves. This translates as "silver tipped." High quality green tea is always used to make silver tipped.  Our Yin Hao Jasmine comes from north Fujian province, the original area where Jasmine tea was first produced. This very fine, yet economical tea, is hand-picked, one bud, one leaf. It is picked in the spring and allowed to rest until July, when the Jasmine flowers bloom.  Our Yin Hao Jasmine tea is scented five times. Historically, Yin Hao has been an award winner at many International Expositions.

WHITE TEA

Bai Hao Silver Needle

In China, white tea is traditionally used for healing. White tea is used to lower blood pressure, to cool off the hot body, and to soothe an upset stomach. White tea needs a lot of sunlight. The final fermentation (20%-30%) takes place in the sunshine. A very light firing is used to stop the fermentation. When the processing is finished, the result is a tea that is so light it is ethereal. The best quality white tea is Bai Hao Silver Needle. This tea uses only the buds which are covered with a beautiful white down, giving this fine tea its name. The best area for growing Bai Hao Silver Needle is in north Fujian province in China.  Tea grown in this region produces a very strong bud that brews to an incredible sweetness.

White Peony

Authentic white tea is fermented in the Oolong style.  The most popular white tea in China is White Peony. This tea is hand picked in the standard Oolong style, one bud and two leaves, but it is picked much younger so the bud and leaves are smaller. The small size of the delicate young leaves and buds resemble beautiful little flowers. After processing, the tea leaves may have many different colors, which is why it is called White Peony.

Our White Peony is grown in the central mountains of Fujian province, China. Most white tea is produced in the summer because it needs sunlight. Our White Peony is produced in late spring and summer. The region, land, and season give our White Peony a special Spring sweetness.

BLACK TEA

Golden Tian Hong

Golden Tian Hong is grown in Yunnan province.  Yunnan is also called "The Land of Four Spring Seasons."  Four rivers flow in four different directions from the central mountains.  Tian is Chinese for Heaven.  It is the ancient name for Yunnan province, whose people thought it was Heaven on Earth.  Hong is Chinese for the color red.  So this could be called "Golden Bud Red Leaf Tea from Heaven."  The British thought the tea looked black, so today it is called a black tea.  Tian Hong is a beautiful, delicate tea.  This golden-tipped black tea is smooth, fragrant and has a faint natural sweetness.

In the 19th century, Keemun and Tian Hong were often presented as gifts to European ambassadors and other elites.  The finest black tea is Tian Hong.

Yi Hong (Mao Feng Black Tea)

Yi Hong comes from Yi Xing Mountain, Jiangsu province, in China. Jiangsu is known for its green tea. It also produces an excellent black tea from Yi Xing Mountain. Yi Xing is known for the Yi Xing clay tea pots, famous for use in brewing excellent green tea and Oolong tea. However, the black tea of Yi Xing Mountain is so good, the people who live in the area drink black tea instead. The best Yi Hong black tea is produced in the summer. The leaves are hand-picked and shaped in the style of Mao Feng green tea. The tea is processed with care, producing a strong, full, dry leaf. This results in a beautiful golden-colored cup of tea with a lovely sweetness. This tea is an excellent base for herbal teas and iced tea.

PU ERH TEA

Mongolia Black

Aged Pu-Erh Tea from Yunnan

Pure Earth Green

Organic Green Pu-Erh Tea from Yunnan: Loose-Leaf and Cake

 

Pu Erh is both a tea name and a place name. The mountains of Yunnan provide a unique climate for the cultivation of this tea. Although grown in China’s far southwest, the tea is cultivated at elevations in which near continuous spring-like conditions exist. The region is warm and moist, with plentiful rain and rich soil. This region is also the ancestral home of all tea plants. Still extant are tea trees more than a thousand years old. The tea is the large, leafed variety It is fragrant and has an earthly sweetness. Pu Erh’s cultivation and production are unlike any other tea. It is grown interspaced with a local tree whose scent commingles with that of the tea. It is also the only tea that is deliberately aged. This process mellows its flavor, and produces a tea that is low in caffeine and numerous benefits for health.

 

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