Rich and savory with addicting cocoa, citrus and grains, this Yunnan black evokes the wild, woody outdoors . . .
Lady Zhu Rong was a legendary dagger-wielding warrior-queen of Yunnan descended from the god of fire. The spice and full body 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 rich and savory, full of sweet grains evoking warm honey-wheat loaves or dark bread. Behind the rich savory sweetness is cocao, roasted nuts and a hint of savory spice.
The early steepings are full bodied with neither bitterness nor drying astringency. The tea’s buddy down leaves a sweet, citrus aftertaste. Rich and savory with honey sweetness, the satisfying malt flavors are reminiscent of s’mores outdoors by the fireside. The smoldering base is not smokey, but still evokes the woody outdoors with warm cedar and pine.
Later steepings continue to develop the addictive, savory combination of grain, cocoa and sweet citrus with notes of graham cracker, honey-cured burdock and toasted marshmallow.
Date of Picking:Spring 2014
Location of Picking:Lincang, Yunnan
What Was Picked:About one third long golden buds and two thirds young leaf.
Sourcing Agent(s):Wang Yanxin
Gongfu Brewing: Use 5g 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 4g of tea (about 1.5T) in 6-8oz of fresh-boiled (205°F) filtered or spring water. Steep for 45 seconds in a brew basket or equivalent. Enjoy many infusions. Add 10-15 seconds with each steeping, or to taste.
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
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"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...