2021 Wild Crassicolumna Black Tea
2021 Wild Crassicolumna Black Tea
Crafted by the Dongsa Cooperative
- DATE OF PICKINGSpring 2021
- QianjiazhaiMt. Ailao, Yunnan
- Camellia CrassicolumnaTea Varietal
Available loose leaf, this new 2021 tea is picked from the early spring leaves and tender buds of the Camellia Crassicolumna tree, a close relative of the tea plant native to Qianjiazhai.
Crassicolumna is naturally caffeine-free and high in antioxidants. Since Crassicolumna is native to the Qianjiazhai region, there are many examples of staggeringly old Crassicolumna trees. Mr. Li of the cooperative is actually employed by the local government as an environmental protection officer to make sure these ancient trees are protected from poaching, where outsiders would sneak in in the cover of darkness to cut the tall trees and quickly harvest their precious leaves. Mr. Li has found that the best way to protect the trees is to allow sustainable wild foraging by the people living in the protected region in exchange for their help watching over remote Crassicolumna groves. This extremely rare and labor-intensive to harvest offering is allowed to slowly sun-roast to oxidize and finished as a unique black tea with a rich fruity but wild flavor, all without the caffeine you’d see in camellia sinensis.
- truefruit85juicy pear, fruitcaketruesavory85brown sugar, barleytruespice75cinnamon, nutmegtruefloral40marigoldtruecozy, tingling, smooth, juicy
- fruit - juicy pear, fruitcake
- savory - brown sugar, barley
- spice - cinnamon, nutmeg
- floral - marigold
- texture - cozy, tingling, smooth, juicy
the Dongsa Cooperative also recommends:
- 2021 Qianjiazhai Hand Fired BlackMaster Zhou is still experimenting with other farmers in Qianjiazhai to produce new black tea offerings each year. The cooperative started with simple oxidized and sun dried black tea without any processing. Recently they have begun experimenting with wok-roasted hand finished black tea. The application of heat makes this more closely related to other Yunnan Black, and indeed it shares a rich sweet potato thickness similar to our Yunnan Golden Fleece, but with Qianjiazhai’s signature tulsi complexity and touches of citrus, and florals. Anybody who loves black tea will love this wild complex black tea offering from the Dongsa Cooperative.
- 2020 Qianjiazhai Sun Dried Black TeaThis tea is wild-foraged by the Li Family of the Dongsa Cooperative within the Mt Ailao National Forest Preserve. The silvery buds and twisting golden leaves are picked from ancient tea trees between one hundred and eight hundred years old scattered between other evergreens, and wildflowers on the rocky mountainside. This labor-intensive tea to harvest is actually allowed to sun-roast and oxidize without applying heat in a wok. Because more moisture is retained in the leaf, this black tea is a fantastic candidate for aging like traditional sheng pu’er. Only a high-elevation remote place like Qianjiazhai can count on enough sunlight in the spring for this old but rare finishing technique. The result is a tea with the sweet malt of a black tea but the staggering complexity and herbaceous undertones of a sheng pu’er. A true standout!
- Hand Fired Black Tea Dragon PearlsWhile the Li Family uses sun drying to bring out rich texture and spice in their sun dried black tea, they have recently started experimenting with a light roasting process, done entirely by hand over a special wood-fired wok. This brings out much sweeter flavors in the black tea. This Dragon Pearl is made with the Li Family's hand fired black tea, closer to a traditional Dian Hong than their Sun Dried Black tea, with savory notes of honey, walnut, fig and a warming hint of cinnamon and tulsi spice.
'This tea is striking in its complexity and depth. The brew was deep amber, almost more similar to the color of Rou Gui Wuyi Oolong than to black tea. The flavor was packed with floral gardenia, sweet grapes and an aftertaste that reminded us of cotton candy. As we steeped it out we got lychee, candied rose, honey and pineapple skin'
- 56-820520 seconds10562058 seconds4512room temp8 hours
oz.use 205° watersteep 20 secondsresteep many times
add 10 sec. each infusion
Gongfu5 g.6 ozuse 205° watersteep 8 seconds
add 4 sec. per steepingenjoy many steepings
oz.use room temp. waterrefrigerate overnight
8 hoursadd ice & enjoy