This bundle includes five 25g bags of oolong tea for 125g total (25 sessions). Zhang Rongde has devoted his life to creating a sustainable biodiverse future for Daping Village, travelling the world to study with master of every tea region and returning to Daping with a vision to bring Tieguanyin and other local varietals to a new level. His tea fields benefit from sweet mountain spring water, ample natural forest cover, rich wildlife and perpetual high mountain mist protecting delicate leaves from the sun.
This collection has been put together as the ultimate introduction to Master Zhang’s craft and the natural beauty of tea from the Daping microclimate. You’ll be able to taste Master Zhang’s award-winning and standard-setting Tieguanyin, as well as unusual cultivars and experimental new finishing styles like Original Wulong Revival, researched from ancient techniques. While Master Zhang brings out different aromatics in every tiny hand-finished batch, this collection will give you a full sense of the regions deep sweet minerality, thick intense backbone, and lingering sweetness.
This bundle includes five 25g bags of Anxi oolong tea for 125g total (25 sessions). With one of the highest elevation, most pristine perfectly-situated plots for Tieguanyin in the world, it would make perfect sense for Master Zhang to devote every inch of land to this famous and in-demand varietal. Yet, Master Zhang does the opposite. Over the last decade, he has reclaimed the majority of his Daping mountainside for bamboo, evergreens and wildflowers. The precious rocky terraces he has left, carved into steep hills, he devotes not just to the famous Tieguanyin, but to dozens of rare, unknown varietals.
Master Zhang fosters these tiny groves of rare tea to preserve biodiversity and have a local “seed bank” of sorts, allowing hearty individual tea bushes to grow and thrive in Daping so that other farmers and colleagues could grow new plants from cuttings, and study the way their famous terroir changes with each varietal.
The benefit for all of us is getting to dive deep and experience rare out there flavors, textures and aromas- all unique expressions of Master Zhang’s craft and terroir. Every tea in this kit expresses the "core" sweet minerality of Daping, but from unique and incredible perspectives not often tasted in a region so dedicated to Tieguanyin.
This bundle includes five 25g bags of aged oolong tea for 125g total (25 sessions). Master Zhang Rongde has been making oolongs for over fifty years. Over the course of his career he has championed sustainable farming, taught finishing techniques to all of Daping Village, and researched ancient and nearly lost fishing techniques. He has also set aside some of his favorite harvests over the years for long term aging- taking out these precious Tieguanyin reserves and re-roasting them yearly to meticulously control for moisture.
This tasting kit is a chance to truly taste Zhang Rongde’s life work- Tieguanyin aged from the mid 80’s all the way through the early 2000’s. His oldest teas have picked up deep complex cooling herbaceous complexity and deep sweet aftertaste. Taste them back to back to see how extra years transform Tieguanyin- and to see how Master Zhang has preserved their deep aromatic floral core through over 30 years. Thanks to a long friendship and partnership with Master Zhang Rongde, he continues to open his precious reserves to us so that he can share true Tieguanyin with the world.
Expect deep, complex, evocative oolongs that are profoundly settling, with long aftertastes and powerful aromas.
This bundle includes three 25g bags of oolong tea for 75g total (15 sessions). This special tea sampler highlights Master Zhang’s work to bring back an ancient oolong finishing technique- the Revival Style. This technique comes from years of research, travel and cultural exchange with other oolong communities, and extensive interviews tapping into the oral tradition to uncover the way that oolong was finished long before the modern rolled style that Tieguanyin is famous for. In this kit, you’ll get to explore light roast, dark roast, aged, and varietal comparisons to see how the Revival Style bring oolong to life with deeper aromatics and more powerful texture and aftertaste, all while connecting with a rich tradition of craft that nearly died out over the last few hundred years. The Revival Style takes more than twice as long to make as classic Tieguanyin thanks to the extended yaoqing process of turning and fluffing the leaves and the fact that so much has to be done entirely by hand, but the results are stunning- a half-twisted half-rolled style that Master Zhang describes as a Dragonfly shape.
Master Zhang takes his Special Grade designation seriously. In order for a batch to be set aside as Special Grade, it has to meet an incredibly high standard of sweetness, a long lingering aftertaste, and thick balanced texture and evocative aroma. It takes the perfect combination of high elevation rocky soil, cool stand-out weather during the growing season and on the picking and finishing days. In the autumn it is even rarer to get these perfect windows, so we are excited to be sharing this harvest for teh first time. This extremely limited special grade Tieguanyin was hand-picked and hand finished over an exhaustive day and a half fluffing and turning process to bring out deep intense florals and creamy texture. The true flavor of the Tieguanyin varietal is preserved with Master Zhang’s expert green finish.