Slowly baked over several days, creating a classic tea with a woodsy nose, rich liquor, and a well-balanced, slightly sour profile.
Notes of sandalwood, roasted walnut, cinnamon, and forest walk.
Beautiful roast, very smooth texture, like a walk in the woods when the sun is heating the forest floor... this tea is exceptional. In particular, I'm very impressed by the multi-day traditional roast of this oolong that maintains and enhances the fragrant and woodsy qualities of the leaf itself.
This high mountain oolong is from the famous Dong Ding range where the higher altitudes create a more concentrated floral flavor.Non-roasted high mountain teashave a beautiful elegance that is delightfully ephemeral, with a taste that sweetly evaporates.But when those same high mountain oolongs are roasted, like this one, a new depth appears that is very dynamic and quite delicious.
Dong Ding is one of the great tea mountains in central Taiwan, and this tea comes from the Lugu township in Nantou county, home of Dong Ding mountain.This oolong uses the famous Qing Xin cultivar, brought from China during the Qing dynasty.Qing Xin, also known as Gentle Green Heart is very delicate and only suitable for high mountain growth.
Brew this high mountain oolong with 195 degree water for 1 minute. Add a minute to the brewing time with each additional infusion.
Leaf-hopper cicadas are allowed to nibble on the leaves of this tea before picking. The resulting tea has a rose and honey profile with a blooming infusion curve.
Notes of spiced honey, roses, and toasted cashew.
Gui Fei Red, also known as Concubine Oolong is one of the sweetest oolongs.It is from a category of tea we refer to as leaf-bitten oolong, and it has a dynamic profile that pairs a mild charcoal roast to fully maintained bouquet of honeyed flowers.
Leaf-bitten teas deserve to be in a category of their own.There are several stories about how Gui Fei’s preparation method came to pass, and it appears that the most reliable story is that in 1999 there was an earthquake in central Taiwan and the tea farmers of Fenghuang village were forced to evacuate.Upon returning the farmers noticed that the tea plants had been overrun with cicadas that had nibbled on the leaves and stems.They processed the least damaged leaves and found that an almost magical transformation had occurred.Tea tasted completely different with an intense sweetness.
Shortly after the cicadas had bitten the leaves the plant created more sugars to heal itself.In addition, the leaves began to oxidize while still living on the bush, as opposed to the post-harvest human-assisted oxidation that commonly happens by tossing and rolling the leaves.
To this day same Fenghuang farmers near the Phoenix Mountain range in Taiwan encourage the little “leaf-hoppers” as they call them to nibble on the leaves to create this Gui Fei.There is now a beautiful, mutually beneficial 4-way symbiotic relationship between the cicada, the tea plant, the farmer, and the tea drinker.
Gui Fei has a tendency to be tricky to brew.It’s best to get to know this tea with shorter infusions. We use 200 degree water with 30 second infusions. The first infusion before the leaves open fully will be a delicate preview of the fireworks to come.Latter infusions have a profile that is a lot like a robust Oriental Beauty with extra sweetness.As the mouth-feel fades after the 4th infusion, the nose continues to bloom like a lively rose garden.
This tea is fruity sweet and citrusy too with touch of roasted nuts. Complex, changing with every steep. so delicious and refreshing during heat wave we experiencing now.
Dry leaf smelled so good of roasted nuts.
5g 100ml glazed pot 200F no rinse/30/15/10/15/20 sec etc
A bold and rich tea that is a unique style for Taiwan. Grown by innovative young farmers, produced completely by hand.
Notes of leather, malt, dark wood, apple skin, cherry pit.
I call this tea Golden Hand because of the golden tips of the leaves, and that the tea is completely handmade. This Taiwanese black tea is picked and roll-twisted to bruise and expedite oxidation to create a lovely, bold, rich brew.
Young tea farmers of Taiwan who are stepping into the tradition of tea making often are wanting to innovate. This tea is an delicious innovation. First they started by cultivating a new tea bush that is a cross of Ruby 20, Ruby 12, Jin Xuan, and Si Ji Chun. The result is a tea that has the robustness of the Ruby black teas combined with the silky florals of traditional oolong cultivars like Jin Xuan (colloquially, milk oolong). After cultivation and harvesting, the tea is then highly oxidized and then baked. The resulting brew is a beautiful red with rich, smooth profile
Brew this black tea with 195 degree water for 30 seconds.Add 30 seconds to the infusion time with each brewing.
Handmade and traditional, this unglazed red shudei clay Japanese teapot is a simple treasure.
Simple and elegant function with timeless Japanese red-earth.
This little red beauty can fit in the palm of your hand and brew a delicious pot of tea for one or shared with a friend. This red unglazed mineral rich clay is smooth and elegant. Artistry is evident in its fine pouring and fine ceramic filter. The wide exact fitting lid allows for easy removal of used leaves.
This specific kyusu is made from the Shudei clay from Japan which is iron rich and good for brewing all types of teas. The clay is said to impart a soft smooth and long-lasting taste to the tea due to its unglazed finish and mineral richness.
We've used this very style kyusu for years, and it is one of our favorite brewing devices, especially since after two years of usage it has seasoned so beautifully.
This teapot was made in Aichi, Japan, and has a volume of 140ml (4.75oz).
Rustic, woodsy, and handcrafted, this wood-fired side-handle teapot is a rare gem with lots of artistic touch.
Rustic, subdued, lovely to hold, one of a kind.
This handmade kyusu is a testament to the beauty that can come from the pottery wheel and traditional wood-firing. The speckled gray mineral-rich clay is colored and textured naturally by fallen ash from the wood used in the week-long firing. The amount of effort and skill that goes into creating a complex piece like this is astonishing.
This teapot is ideal for gong fu tea preparation when sharing with a others, or just by yourself. The unglazed clay will season very well, and the teapot is surprisingly lightweight
Many functional and artistic enhancement have been added to this unique pot. There is a 14-hole filter at the spout that is ideal for brewing all Chinese and Taiwanese teas. The tapering of teapot body at the lid will allow for greater temperature retention and even leaf expansion.
This teapot was handmade in Yingge, Taiwan, and has a volume of 200ml (6.75oz).
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.
Rustic aloeswood incense with a profile that's slightly-dark, woody, and very aromatic.
Rustic aloeswood, with notes of aged, aromatic wood.
This Indonesian aloeswood has a rustic quality that is quite nice. This incense is reminiscent of aloeswood incense that can be found drifting in the air in China and Taiwan, but is of much higher quality. The aroma feels quite ancient.
Aloeswood is an incredibly prized fragrant wood, more valuable that sandalwood. Aloeswood comes from the Aquilaria tree, and it only becomes fragrant once it has been infected by a particular mold. It has a scent profile that is both bright and dark at the same time, and is quite beautiful.
20g incense ~ 60x 21cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 30 minutes.
Phenomenal, traditional Japanese incense made with fragrant woods, spices, featuring natural aloeswood, sandalwood, and camphor.
Traditional Japanese incense, notes of water, spice, and dark wood.
This traditional incense is made from pulverized aloeswood and sandalwood, combined with spices such as benzoin, cinnamon, and camphor; blended and joined with sake. This is one of my all-time favorite incenses, and it always strikes me with a focusing feeling.
I encourage experimentation with incense and tea pairing, but I think that Hone goes well with any of the dark and aged oolongs.
15g incense ~ 46x 14cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 30 minutes.
Try the complete line of Totem incense, and take an amazing scent journey.
An amazing scent journey through Japan, Taiwan, China, Mongolia, India, and Oman.
This sampler is a great way to introduce yourself to to the rich world of incense. All of these incense pair beautifully with tea without being overwhelming. They are made with pure ingredients without artificial scents.