Verdant Tea

Tasting Wuyishan with the Li Family Collection

Tasting Wuyishan with the Li Family Collection

Regular Price $53.45 $42.76
in December

This bundle includes 25 grams of five different teas for 125g total (25 sessions).

Wuyishan is one of the most famous tea growing regions in the world, and true hand-crafted tea from within the Wuyi Ecological Preserve is incredibly elusive with a proliferation of imitations out there. That is why we are so lucky to be working with the dynamic award-winning Li Family, who have been visionaries in restoring biodiversity and forest cover within the preserve and leaders in oolong craft.

Li Xiangxi, founder of the Yangxian Institute of Tea Culture, works with her brother and cousin to finish deep aromatica and wildly complex oolongs, as well as traditional old-school black teas from their ancestral home in Tongmu.

This collection represents a classic tasting curriculum, spanning the most important flavors, textures and aromas to be familiar with in beginning to understand what makes Wuyishan so special. This kit has been put together to provide a foundation to explore the wider Li Family collection with a deep tasting vocabulary, and of course, to come out with a true sense of the Wuyi microclimate.

 Taste Wuyishan with the Li Family's teas: 

Dark Roast Big Red Robe Wuyi Oolong (25g)

This Qidan varietal was picked by the Li Family on their hillside plot within the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve. After a 24 hour withering and oxidizing process, this tea was hand-fired over another 16 hours and allowed to rest a full month before release. The result is an incredibly sweet and dessert-like tea with buttery, sticky pudding qualities brought out by the caramelization of sugars. The sweetness reveals cinnamon spice and warm dark fruit. 

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Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong (25g)

Li Xiangxi's family has been hand picking and processing tea for generations. Their tea is fed from a mountain spring, with plants between ten and one hundred years old, all grown traditionally without fertilizers or pesticides and picked by hand by the family. This Shui Xian varietal picking really shines with the Li Family's delicate charcoal roasting process to bring out the deep complex forest notes and minerality that make Shui Xian so famous.

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Rou Gui Wuyi Oolong (25g)

The Li Family is becoming famous in Wuyishan for their Rou Gui. The combination of a biodiverse plot, full of wildflowers and natural forest cover, the volcanic rocky soil, mature root stock plants, and multiple twelve hour hand-firing processes spread over several months make their Rou Gui a true standout. Classically, Rou Gui is known for its cinnamon spice, but in the Li Family’s capable hands, the cinnamon spice is bolstered by tingling cooling undertones and deep minerality. This Rou Gui is Li Xiangxi’s focus in all her taste training courses at her family’s Yangxian Academy, served to students and visiting dignitaries as a classic representation of what the varietal is capable of.

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Jin Jun Mei Black Tea (25g)

Jin Jun Mei Wuyi black tea is one of the most labor intensive and demanding teas to produce. Fine Jin Jun Mei is made exclusively from tiny spring buds, and requires thousands and thousands of hand-picked golden buds to make a single pound of finished tea. The result is a downy tea with a thick full texture, and a beautiful elegance. Li Xiangxi's spring-fed tea grows out of rocky, sandy soil, yielding a rich mineral flavor true to Wuyishan's unique terroir.

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Hua Xiang Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Wuyi Black Tea (25g)

While Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is usually smoked, the same leaf material and finishing technique can be used without the final smoking step. Hua Xiang means floral fragrance, referring to the natural but subtle floral notes in Xingcun Xiaozhong varietal that are brought out through the Li Family’s expert hand-processing. When smaller leaf material mixed with delicate buds is used, rich vanilla undertones can develop, accenting the savory nutty flavors. The main difference between this tea and a classic Wuyi Gongfu Black is that Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is not necessarily curled and twisted as thoroughly, giving it a more open structure suitable for incorporating that smaller bud and leaf mixture that wouldn’t work in the tight twists of Wuyi Gongfu Black, but both are very traditional calls back to the very earliest black teas in the world.

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"Praised by emperors
and immortalized in poetry across the ages,
the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve
is the cultural epicenter of tea.

My family has been tending to wild bushes and farming old tea trees
within the preserve for generations.

Living in a place of such natural beauty, we have come to seek balance
in our agriculture and balance in our tea. We preserve the natural forest cover,
we use beyond-organic methods, and we finish our teas by hand in small batches
- all to honor the gift of the place we call home.

I invite you to take the time to taste in our tea the deep complexity, rich texture, and intense aromatics
that define the true heritage of the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve."


- Li Xiangxi 李享熹