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Produced by he_family_farmer_badge the He Family

Mr. He’s father was one of the first farmers to ever plant tea in Laoshan Village on his family’s land at the base of Laoshan’s Taoist Holy Mountain. The He family continues this legacy as leaders in their community: picking and processing every leaf by hand, inventing new kinds of tea, and sharing their organic farming techniques and their workshop with their neighbors.

This sample pack includes a broad range of the He Family’s hand-crafted teas, with a focus on their most recent innovations and experiments: from the experimental new Laoshan Oolongs teas and “pine needle” shaped green and black teas to the family’s surprising, inspiring herbal Gan Zao Ye.

 

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Taste the He Family’s Classic Collection

This invitation to explore the innovative hand crafted teas from the He Family in Laoshan includes a range of teas from our oldest partners, focusing on their most recent experiments.

This tasting kit goes beyond the classics and includes Laoshan Pine Needle Green, Laoshan Gongfu Black, Laoshan Green OolongLaoshan Roasted OolongWild Spring Laoshan Gan Zao Ye, and new Semi-Oxidized Laoshan Gan Zao Ye.

There is enough tea included to brew each selection about five times times, giving you a chance to explore different brewing methods and pairings while getting to know what the He Family’s tea is about.

Six 25g bags of loose leaf tea are included for a total of 5.29 ounces (150g.) of tea or 30 brewing sessions.

 
Laoshan's mountain peaks

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LAOSHAN PINE NEEDLE GREEN

This 2017 spring harvest is only the fourth for this brand new tea! This innovative tea is first carefully curled before being pulled straight – all by hand. The result is a delicate, nuanced, and flavorful brew that lasts through multiple steepings. He Qingqing loves the way the leaves dance in a glass pitcher for brewing and the way that the hand finishing shows off Laoshan’s delicate deep-green buds and leaves at a glance. In addition to classic Laoshan “soy bean” aroma, the 2017 harvests lend a particular mineral element to this harvest along with a lingering, winning sweetness

 

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LAOSHAN GONGFU BLACK

Two years ago, Mr. He decided to experiment with his hand-twisting and rolling technique developed for Pine Needle Green in making a Wuyi Gongfu Black style tea true to Laoshan. The He Family has been so happy with the results and international response that they had to make Laoshan Gongfu Black for a another season! The delicate treatment lets this tea yield many infusions and brings out the roasted marshmallow and s’mores quality of fine Laoshan Black. Hand processing extends the sweetness and aftertaste of traditional Laoshan black for a subtle, well-balanced taste experience.

 

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LAOSHAN GREEN OOLONG

This tea is the He Family’s answer to the challenge that oolong is only for southern China. Despite Laoshan Village only having about fifty years of tea cultivation and oolong being the most technically demanding kind of tea in the world to produce, Mr. He and his family come through brilliantly, and have been producing oolong since 2013. The careful kneading and rolling brings out a beautiful, pure expression of the minerality of the soil and the water. This tea is processed without a roast for a true green flavor of Laoshan.

 

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LAOSHAN ROASTED OOLONG

In addition to their first green rolled oolong, the He Family is also proud to produce a roasted oolong tea. It takes the He Family entire family an entire day to process a single five pound batch of this tea. The careful kneading and rolling brings out the minerality of Laoshan’s unique soil and the water, while years of experience coaxing smooth chocolate flavor from the leaves of Laoshan gives this 2017 spring harvest rich cocoa notes, complimented by floral vanilla and marshmallow with a new, huge mineral texture!

 

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WILD SPRING LAOSHAN GAN ZAO YE

Gan Zao Ye (Wild Jujube) is a naturally caffeinefree herbal tea made from native jujube trees that grow unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. The He family and their neighbors forage a limited quantity each spring and hand-processes it just like a traditional green tea with withering, firing and curling. Each leaf is treated with just as much care and craft as their own field-grown tea leaves, the resulting herbal tea is packed with just as much flavor complexity (and antioxidants) as traditional tea with bright green vegetal sweetness a striking barley and walnut flavor.

 

SEMI-OXIDIZED LAOSHAN GAN ZAO YE

This 2017 harvest is a world-premiere! Like Gan Zao Ye, this experimental herbal-tisane is made from wild Laoshan-native Jujube trees, harvested on the mountain slopes and then allowed to oxidize in the sun before being finished using a technique inspired by Laoshan Black. These caffeine-free leaves are thinner than tea leaves, so they lose their moisture faster while oxidizing. This makes for a unique partially oxidized flavor with greener notes that shine through in later steepings.

 

Tasting Recommendations

 

A traditional tasting order for these teas would be to start with Laoshan Pine Needle Green, and progress from lightest to darkest, moving to Laoshan Green Oolong, then to Laoshan Pine Needle Black and finally to Laoshan Roasted Oolong. This also allows for the most direct understanding of how oolong processing changes the flavor of a tea compared to its green tea or black tea relatives. Finish with the herbal Gan Zao Ye, or enjoy a pot or a mug on its own.

 

five_5_g_circleMr. He brews all of his teas as strong as possible, but his daughter Qingqing prefers a lighter, more modern brew. We recommend using 5g of leaf per infusion (5-6oz of water), which is a third of the sample bag.
brew_at_185_degrees_CThe most authentic technique is to use 185° F water for all five teas. Compared to the traditional “industry standard.” the He Family tends to brew a bit hot for greens and a bit cool for black tea. The results are worth exploring!
brew_in_pitcher_circleThe He Family uses uncovered glass pitchers to brew all five of these teas, steeping the leaves for about 15-20 seconds per infusion, and will continue steeping the same leaves at least six to eight times.