Rrich velvety tea with creamy cacao notes, wafting cedarwood, and a spicy undertone. . . .
Lady Zhu Rong was a legendary dagger-wielding warrior-queen of Yunnan descended from the god of fire. The spice and power of this tea compelled us to evoke her kingdom of Dian, an independent state before it was conquered by China and renamed Yunnan.
The aroma of the wet leaf is that of fresh roasted sweet potatoes, steaming hot like the ones vendors sell for 10 cents on the roadside on the way to Laoshan Village. Behind the rich savory sweetness is a potent cayenne pepper aroma.
The early steepings are full and all-encompassing like cedarwood smoldering in an incense censer. There is a dark spice that moves towards clove, but is tempered by a sweet cinnamon note. This new harvest builds on the smoldering base with luscious notes of honey, and waffle wafer cookies.
Later steepings develop towards creamy banana, and the spice slowly builds up towards ginger, galangal and even a hint of cardamom, evoking a warming cup of honey-sweetened chai.
Date of Picking:Autumn 2013
Location of Picking:Lincang, Yunnan
What Was Picked:About two thirds long golden buds and one third young leaf.
Quantity Acquired:This is a 100 pound edition
Sourcing Agent(s):Wang Yanxin
Gongfu Brewing: Use 3g of leaves for a medium gaiwan or yixing pot. Heat the gaiwan or pot with boiling water and pour out. Add leaves, rinse leaves with boiling water for less than a second. Use this steeping to heat cups and pour over yixing. Steep each round for 2-3 seconds, increasing time by 3 seconds each steeping after the third steeping. Enjoy at least 15 infusions.
Western Brewing: Use two teaspoons of leaves per cup of water. Steep in a brew basket or loose in a pot to give the leaves plenty of room to expand. If possible avoid tea balls or paper filter bags. Steep for 1.5 minutes with filtered boiling water and remove leaves or pour off water. Save the leaves. Enjoy at least 4 infusions. Add one minute to each subsequent infusion.
Iced Tea (Cold Brewing)
Use about 4 grams of tea for every 12oz of water. Combine with room temperature water in a covered vessel and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Enjoy!
Iced Tea (Flash Chilled)
Use 1TB (5 grams) of tea in a 6-8oz vessel. Steep for 1 minute with filtered boiled water. Fill a martini shaker (or equivalent) with ice, then add brewed tea and shake until well-chilled (usually 10-30 seconds). Pour out through martini-shaker top over fresh ice in a new glass and serve. Add a slice of lemon for the perfect summer garnish!
How to Taste Tea
"If you can put yourself in the right frame of mind, quiet the chatter of the everyday, and immerse yourself in the sensory experience of brewing and tasting a cup of tea, even a mediocre tea will be beautiful...What is Unflavored Tea Anyway?
"Whether we like it or not, tea will always be subject to external influence. The beauty of tea is the way that it can respond, and evolve to something greater given a flavor interaction...Happenstance and the Hidden Taoist Message of Chinese Tea Folklore
"Just like the Taoist parable of water bending to every rock in the moment, but shaping continents in the long run, or the reed that bends in a hurricane while the rooted tree is broken, the tea plant, a humble shrub growing wild in Yunnan has come, through “non-action” to command the love and devotion of the entire world...