The He Family’s Most Popular Tea. This cool autumn season harvest black tea is packed with flavor and aromatics, fully oxidized and roasted to achieve the iconic malty, chocolatey, honeyed Laoshan Black flavor.
True Competition-Level Black Tea from Laoshan. This is the earliest, sweetest, most delicate harvest of the year, meticulously hand-rolled and twisted in the style of high-end Wuyi tea. The "gongfu" finish brings out notes of nutmeg, brown sugar, and fine dark chocolate.
Hand-Twisted Craft Black Tea. First flat-pressed, then hand twisted, Laoshan Gongfu Black is a difficult finish favored by the He Family to bring out sparkling minerality in their tea. This spring tea has notes of rose, caramel flan and tropical citrus.
Feng Huang Black comes from transplanted Fenghuang Dancong from Guangdong established in the mountainous rocky slopes of Wuyi. As in Guangdong, these plants are cultivated as single bush trees instead of hedges. The result is an elegant expression of the bright, fruity, complex and sweet flavor of Fenghuang Dancong with the deep mineral notes of Wuyi. Black Tea Xiao Zhong style processing tempers the naturally tropical fruit of Dancong and supports it with elegant wood. Because this tea is grown as single bushes and picked only once a year, the annual yield for the Li Family is very small. We are excited to share this small batch from the Li Family's tea gardens.
Mei Zhan varietal is famous for its rich and focused fruit-forward oolong made from long skinny spring leaves. Recently, Mr. Li has been experimenting with a stand of his family’s iconic Mei Zhan in early spring when the plant puts out huge buds that are too delicate to withstand oolong processing. He personally leads the hand-picking of the Li Family Mei Zhan buds and brings them to the family home and workshop in Tongmu for Jin Jun Mei meticulous black tea hand-finishing. The slow oxidation in bamboo baskets brings out big savory notes and sweet rich honey and cream.
The Li Family and other members of the Dongsa Cooperative sustainably forage from towering crassicolumna trees to harvest the early spring woody buds that make this new black tea. Camellia Crassicolumna (厚轴茶) is a wild near-relative of tea native to Qianjiazhai; because this plant currently a protected species. one of the cooperative's responsibilities is to protect these trees from poaching. The incredibly-sweet. flavor-packed buds are traditionally piled and allowed to oxidize fully in the Mt. Ailao sun without heat treatment, locking in the natural flavor and aroma of the region. Crassicolumna is naturally caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants.
This spring harvest Yunnan black tea gets its name to honor the soft, rich textural experience of tasting this beautiful small harvest tea. Golden Fleece is hand picked from wild growth (unmanaged) Yunnan Da Bai tea bushes over forty years old. The biodiversity of the growing region and deeper roots mean a more complex flavor and aroma. Only the most perfect large tender buds are hand-harvested, and carefully hand-finished. The down from the buds infuses into every cup, yielding a uniquely thick mouthfeel. This year's harvest is full and complex with cooling cedar, and spiced nutmeg and cinnamon undertones to bolster the luxurious creamy base.
This experimental loose leaf black tea is made by the Liu family with leaves from their Tieguanyin tea plants. The inspiration for this tea is Wuyi Xiao Zhong, a traditional and full-bodied black tea from Wuyishan (sometimes smoked with special pine wood). You might expect a bracing and full bodied tea, but when you taste this Tieguanyin varietal processed as a curled, roasted black tea, you find something quite different. Cozy and satisfying, this tea has an unmistakable floral Tieguanyin core under the black tea finishing.
Mr. He’s daughter Qingqing, co-owner of Verdant Tea, pioneered this finishing style with her father. She loves the long delicate twisting technique for the way the leaves dance in a glass pitcher as they unfold yielding a delicate nuanced brew that lasts over multiple steepings. The hand pulled and twisted finish on this early reserve harvest shows off the delicate deep-green buds that the family picks with so much care, cultivating with sustainable chemical free farming, and fed by sweet mountain spring water.