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.
Classic handmade teapot with beautiful gradients from the natural wood-fired ash outer glaze.
Simple, petite, and rustic, with a wood-fired gradient.
This handmade teapot is a subdued piece of art. The fine particle gray clay exhibits a beautiful outer texture that comes from a controlled wood kiln firing. I really enjoy all of the texture in this teapot. Some, parts, like the base, are very smooth from the natural sediment glaze, while some more rough.
This teapot is ideal for gong fu tea preparation when sharing with a friend, or just by yourself. For its small size, it has a nice density to it from the fine particle Dehua clay.
This teapot would be very suitable for all Chinese and Taiwanese teas. There is a 9-hole filter at the spout.
This teapot was handmade in Dehua, Fujian, China, and has a volume of 150ml (5oz).
Rough red earth side-handle teapot handmade with unglazed large particle red-black clay.
Simple form, unrefined texture, old-world feel.
This handmade kyusu 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 several friends, or just by yourself. It's a bit larger than most of Totem's other teapots, but it is still quite easy to use.
This teapot was handmade in Yingge, Taiwan, and has a volume of 300ml (10oz)
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 Japanese profile incense with sweet cherry blossom scent and a cool, creamy texture.
Traditional Japanese incense, notes of cherry blossom, sandalwood, smooth spices.
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 incense has a lovely cherry blossom scent, and evokes a late snow-fall on blossoms.
I encourage experimentation with incense and tea pairing, but I think that this incense goes well with a bitten-leaf oolong.
10g incense ~ 26x 13cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 30 minutes.
Elegant carved wood incense burner with fireproof fabric for burning the entire incense horizontally.
Beautiful incense burner that burns the entire stick.
Smoke drifts up beautifully through the magnet-attached, coin-patterned lid of this incense burner. Made of rosewood and fireproof fabric, this incense burner will burn the entire incense stick horizontally, without leaving tiny unburned nubs, as happens with incense holders. Fireproof 'fire-cotton' fabric is used so that air can flow easily all around the lit incense stick.
Incense will not stay lit on a plain, flat surface. But when placed on the 'fire-cotton' fabric in this incense burner, it will burn easily and safely.
This incense burner can easily hold longer 21cm incense sticks.
Both sweet and woodsy, this lovely incense is like sipping plum wine in a pine forest.
Plum, sandalwood, aloeswood and sweet spices.
This incense smells lovely and smooth. It is at the same time both sweet and woodsy. There are initial notes of plum that give way to an elegant pine needle aroma, all backed by an elegant sandalwood with a touch of aloeswood depth.
I encourage experimentation with incense and tea pairing, but I think that this incense goes pairs evenly with the 1988 Aged Ginseng Oolong, and is juxtaposed nicely with any of the fragrant oolongs like Osmanthus Jin Xuan.
20g incense ~ 60x 21cm sticks. Approximate burn time of one stick ~ 30 minutes.