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.
Rustic, small teapot handmade with unglazed large particle red and black speckled clay.
Simple form, unrefined texture, old-world feel.
This handmade teapot is humble in its look and feeling. The red and black speckled clay is similar in texture to Japanese Shigaraki, and it feels unique to the touch. To me, it has an old-world, unrefined aesthetic. This type of clay should age beautifully with tea patina.
This teapot is ideal for gong fu tea preparation when sharing with a friends, or just by yourself. The handle is very easy to hold, and it has nice balance. It has 7-hole hexagon filter that will work well for all types of Chinese and Taiwanese teas.
This teapot was handmade in Yingge, Taiwan, and has a volume of 150ml (5oz)
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.
Bright resin of frankincense with notes of sweet citrus, this elevating incense straddles Oman and Japan.
Ancient resin with notes of melon and orange peel.
Real frankincense tree resin from Oman is pulverized and combined with natural makko to create an incense that is structurally simple, but aromatically complex. This style of incense is very clean and clear like many natural Japanese incense, but the frankincense material causes a transformation that is very elevating and invigorating. The notes of sweet citrus and melon are lovely, and are nothing like the smoky, harsh, and overheated low-quality frankincense you might have smelled in a church.
Frankincense was one of the most prized materials of ancient Egypt and the Middle-East. Alongside other resins like myrhh, opoponax, and mastic... Frankincense was special among these (used by priests for offering and communing with the gods) because it has an upward-moving quality when burned (in contrast, myrhh has a very downward-moving quality, that's why they are so often paired).
I encourage experimentation with incense and tea pairing, but I think that this Frankincense goes well with any of the fragrant oolongs like Gui Fei or Wen Shan Bao Zhong.
10g incense ~ 26x 13cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 30 minutes.
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.
Rich, bright, and smooth sandalwood that is very pure, and very high quality.
Aged sandalwood that is soothing and bright.
Sandalwood is one of the most prized aromatic woods, and it is known to maintain its scent for many years. The sandalwood used in this incense has been weathered and aged before being ground and combined with a clean, low-combustion incense base. The result is an incense that smells very natural and beautiful.
I encourage experimentation with incense and tea pairing, but I think that this sandalwood goes well with any of the fragrant oolongs like Gui Fei or Wen Shan Bao Zhong.
10g incense ~ 15x 21cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 50 minutes.