This powerful quarter-century oolong was aged alongside ginseng, and has mellowed beautifully while maintaining vitality.
Notes of ginseng, goldenseal, apricot pit, and leather.
Surprising to some, tea can be aged adding great new flavor profiles and nuances that new tea does not contain. Aging tea is an art and requires skill, attention and know-how. It is not just a matter of putting the tea away in a clay jar in the attic somewhere and finding it years later (although that also occurs). In order for tea to age well a number of conditions must be met relating to temperature, humidity and isolation from strong odors that can ruin a batch of aging tea. Tea that is not aged properly can have an overly sour taste and stale smell to the leaves. When aged with artistry something wholly new is created.
This treasured Aged Ginseng Oolong is such a treat! It has the mellowed smoothness of an aged oolong with the rich sweet finish that the gentle ginseng scenting provides. It is just a hint or light brush stroke of ginseng, most likely the dusting of a fine ginseng powder placed on the tea before its long slumber in clay vessels.
This tea has a rich dark color that is smooth without any bitterness or astringency. It is satisfying and due to its age is of limited quantity.
Lovely wide twisted leaves open into a sunny and grassy day with this laid back, light, and playful tea.
Notes of spring flowers, butter, and sunny grass.
This is a tea that we first discovered on a day trip to Ping Lin, a suburb of Taipei which is known for its growth and production of this particular Oolong tea. Bao Zhong tea has a different appearance from many of the other Taiwanese Oolong teas in that its processing utilizes a twisting of the tea leaf instead of a tight semi-ball rolled style of tea production. This tea processing is similar to that of the Wuyi Oolong production of Fujian Province in China.
This tea was named due to creators use of sealing the tea between two sheets of paper to resemble an envelope. Bao Zhong roughly translates to mean “wrapped kind tea.” This Taiwanese Bao Zhong comes from the Wen Shan region of Northern Taiwan which has been the traditional home of Bao Zhong production in Taiwan.
This tea has a light brewing color and a very aromatic fresh floral notes with a sweet finish. It is a great introduction to lighter oolongs in that it will not get bitter if steeped too long. It is light and uplifting tea and reminds us of the fresh spring lightness of a warm cup of fragrant oolong tea.
This tea provides a perfect niche for the tea connoisseur looking for a lighter tea without any of the sharp notes of a green tea. Brew the first infusion with 200 degree water for 60 seconds, doubling the brew time with each subsequent infusion.
The aroma off the cup is so good. It is flowers and a subtle spiciness. The liquor is a bright yellow. Everything about this cup is making me happy... and then I tasted it.
Oh My! This is soooo good. Maybe it is extra special because my day until now has been one battle after another (computers, software, and cameras). Maybe, but I don't think so. This really is that good. You have that wonderful scent along with a smooth buttery corn flavored sip. I can feel it melting the stress away.
For an instant I get a flash of spice at the back of the tongue that I thought was going to turn into briskness but it doesn't. Incredibly smooth.
This is the lighter greener side of oolong. The dark roasting I kind of expected is totally absent. It is nicely complex but subtle. If you only like the grab your throat bold roasty stuff, then this isn't your tea. If like me, you prefer a soothing light green oolong that should steep 4 times, then this is delightful.
I spent most of the weekend outside working, and this tea called to my gaiwan and I to be brewed. I opened up the package to reveal a chaotic assortment of darkened leaves with thick stems. the leaves were incredibly aromatic with a sweet scent of crisp pears, oats, honey, barley, and a smooth graham cracker. This was a unique and enticing aroma. I warmed up my gaiwan and placed a handful inside. The scent deepened to a warm grass base with sweet raisins and light mineral aroma mixture. I sat and enjoyed this array of scents for some time. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing.. The flavor began with a full body. I tasted a nice vegetle base with a smooth spring grass sharpness. A sweet sensation flowed over my palette and progressed into an almost creme tone. This lulling sensation was followed by a light fruitiness and some buttery tones. This brew was quite good, and it was a fully encompassing experience. The brew lightened up in later steeping and moved into the grassier and sharper tones. This tea is quite good, and it would do well for a daily drinker.
The delicacy of a white tea with the steamed spinach and chestnut profile of a cooling green tea.
Notes of steamed spinach, chestnut, and a cooling aftertaste.
Anji Bai Cha has the delicacy of a white tea with the steamed spinach and chestnut profile of a cooling green tea. This unique hand picked tea gets its name from its unique cultivar which does not reach a darker green color until after the spring equinox. It was hand picked at over 600-800 meters elevation and processed at the end of March 2016. The harvest time for this unusual tea lasts only one month.
Traditional wide gaiwan made with a blend of 9 clays and glazed with a speckled sky blue.
9 blended Chinese clays glazed with a soft speckled sky blue.
Nothing speaks of traditional tea brewing like a Gaiwan (蓋碗 Gàiwǎn). This tea brewing device is versatile and elegant with its roots reaching back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Its versatility is due to the use of porcelain and its ability to not carry scents or flavors from the various teas brewed in it. Gaiwans have traditionally been used for green tea and white teas because they do not affect the lighter and subtle flavors or fresher teas.
The gaiwan can also be used as a cup to drink the tea from and not just a brewing instrument. In China it is common to see people sipping their green tea from a gaiwan with the lid still on as a means to hold back the tea leaves. When the gaiwan is used as a drinking device all three of its parts are used, the lid, cup and saucer. The lid has multiple functions. It can be used to keep the water warm and as a strainer when pouring and drinking to hold back the leaves. The cup is used for brewing and drinking and the saucer is used for holding the gaiwan if it is hot or for setting it down.
The use of a gaiwan is related to Gongfu tea service which roughly translates as “skilled” tea service. The reason that “gongfu” tea service has the notion of skilled is that the preparation requires focus and attention to detail requiring a degree of skilled action. The use of a gaiwan is not difficult but does require skill in that the upper lid is used as a filter for the tea leaves when poured. What makes a gaiwan more or less difficult is the flare of the lip on the cup. The wider the flare of the lip of the cup the easier it is to hold, use and pour. The lip cannot be too wide which would make it difficult to handle with one hand, which is how gaiwans are traditionally poured. We looked for gaiwans that are beautiful and easy to use, all three of the handcrafted gaiwans that we have sourced from China meet this criteria.