Laoshan Herbal Tasting Kit
Laoshan Herbal Tasting Kit
This bundle includes four 25g bags of naturally caffeine-free wild-foraged herbal tea for 100g total (20 sessions).
The He Family in Laoshan is bringing green tea craft to wild-foraged caffeine-free herbals picked within the Laoshan ecological preserve in extremely limited quantities. This kit is an introduction to the way that tea craft brings nuance, depth and complexity to plants beyond camellia sinensis, and offers satisfying diverse and fully caffeine-free flavors perfect for any time of day.
The He Family is dedicated to sustainable agriculture, and meticulous hand-finishing craft in the workshop. This kit is an invitation to see their craft in action, from rich sweet jujube to fruity and creamy huai hua blossoms.
Taste the He Family's tisanes:
Wild Laoshan Gan Zao Ye (25g)
Gan Zao Ye (Wild Jujube) is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that grows unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. The He family forages a limited quantity each spring and hand-processes it just like a traditional green tea with withering, firing and curling. The final result is packed with just as much flavor complexity (and antioxidants) as a traditional tea.
The delicate leaves spring open and release a deep sweet toasted oat aroma. The first sips are similar to genmaicha- green tea mixed with toasted puffed rice. As the tea steeps out it shows off complex notes of goji berry, coconut, eucalyptus, and cardamom. The aftertaste is supremely sweet, cooling and refreshing.
Wild Spring Laoshan Suan Zao Ye (25g)
Suan Zao Ye (Wild Spiny Zizyphus) is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that grows unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. While the seeds of the sour dates have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Suan Zao Ren), the He family forages a limited quantity in April and early May, before the tender spring buds grow too large or the spiny thorns too firm. The leaves are then hand-processed just like a traditional Laoshan green tea, with withering, firing and curling. The final result is packed with delicious flavor and complexity, with a striking flavor of sweet plantain or banana chips, cooling cucumber and a refreshing minty and peppery finish.
Laoshan Huai Flower Tea (25g)
The Huai Flower of the Scholar's Tree grows wild across the slopes of Laoshan. The aromatic little flowers have been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years for anti-inflammatory properties. The He Family has been wild-foraging and brewing Huai Hua for as long as they can remember, but this year again they decided to apply their meticulous green tea processing to these unique flowers, including withering, heat fixing, curling and drying. The flowers partially oxidize during these processes, bringing out deep complexity and lingering sweet aftertaste.
Laoshan Sweet Potato Leaf Tea (25g)
The sweet potato is the most iconic fixture of Shandong province, and grows in every family garden in Laoshan village and up the mountainside. For decades, villagers have harvested semi-wild sweet potato from within the Laoshan National Park between rocky outcroppings and gnarled trees. As Laoshan tea becomes more famous and brings a better standard of living to the region, sweet potato has become a less critical crop, but this tea honors the tradition by applying tea finishing technique to foraged sweet potato leaf. The He Family had to roast the sweet potato leaf five times just to stop oxidation, making this a notably slow and time consuming tea to produce. Only several kilos were made this year, and we are lucky to offer the majority of the harvest while it lasts.
Laoshan Goji Leaf Tea (25g)
A member of the Solanaceae family, the caffeine-free Goji berry plant (Lycium barbarum) grows wild across Northern China - including on the slopes of Laoshan in Shandong. Though the plant is most famous for its berries, its dried leaves have been a part of traditional medicine in China for centuries. Early this spring, the He Family foraged young and tender spring goji leaves and carefully finished them just as they would their early spring reserve Laoshan green teas. We are so excited for the opportunity to share this another experimental tea from the He Family!
Zhu Rong (25g)
The He Family is continuing their tradition this year of wild-foraging caffeine-free native Laoshan herbs and using their expertise at green tea processing to finish the leaves like a traditional green tea. While Shandong native Lu mulberry leaf would normally be simply air-dried for use in medicinal tea, the He Family has applied withering, heat-fixing, curling and tumble-drying to bring out much richer and more subtle flavor through their craft. We are excited to share the He Family's herbal teas again this season, and to offer a look at the flavor of Laoshan from another plant entirely different from camellia sinensis!