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.
This bundle includes four 25g bags of Wuyi tea for 100g total (20 sessions). This special limited-offering tasting kit is a chance to do a unique taste-off showdown of two of Wuyishan’s most sought after varietals, crafted by the Li family as both oolong and black tea for four unique offerings. The purpose of this kit is to show off the intense influence of craft on finished tea, even when that tea is the same varietal grown by the same family in the same place. Mei Zhan and Bai Rui Xiang are both famous Wuyi teas traditionally finished as oolongs. Indeed, all three have brought the Li Family best in show awards year after year. Recently, the Li Family has begun to apply their masterful traditional black tea craft to famous "oolong" varietals at the family workshop in Tongmu, yielding exciting new ways to taste and feel the terroir of the region. This kit will let you compare oolong and black tea finishes on the same varietals while these unique limited harvest offerings are available.
This is just the second year this tea has been made. The Gu Hua harvest is an early autumn picking possible only in the cool high elevation mountaintops of Qianjiazhai, favored by Master Zhou for its fruity, rich flavor. In years past, this has been used exclusively for sheng pu’er. This year, a small portion was set aside to sun-oxidize as a black tea. The results are stunning! It has all the juicy flavor of the sheng pu’er but with creamy nutty depth only possible in a black tea.
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.
For the sixth year in a row, Li Xiaoping is sharing her new Dragonwell Black Tea! She uses the same delicate early buds as her famous green tea, hand-picked from the slopes of Shi Feng, raised on sweet mountain spring water and covered in high elevation mist to protect against sunlight. After light twisting and rolling, this sweet, rich and distinctly mineral-laden tea is then set out in bamboo baskets and loosely covered for ten to fifteen hours and allowed to oxidize in the afternoon heat. This oxidation process brings out savory malty flavors in Li Xiaoping’s Dragonwell that show the unique texture of the region in a completely different light.
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.
Huang Ruiguang's family Mi Lan Dancong is picked only once a year from single trees that are not pruned back to encourage deeper roots & more robust flavor, year after year. His mountain plot and decades of work in improving agriculture techniques for the region have earned Huang Ruiguang's Mi Lan awards such as the recent 2015 Gold Medal at the Sixth Guangdong Tea Expo. This Mi Lan is allowed to naturally oxidize for over 24 hours before being carefully spread, baked and tumbled. The oxidation creates a deep rich black tea flavor, but Mi Lan varietal’s natural juicy floral honey flavor still comes through strong.
Mr. He personally hand twists and finished each leaf in this labor-intensive early-spring biluochun style. Laoshan spring comes much later than southern China. At this time of year, before Qing Ming festival, the He Family's Laoshan tea is fully shade-grown, protected by greenhouse coverings to keep back the cold northern air. The nuance of the bilochun processing style brings out the subtle minerality of the Laoshan microclimate. Delicate slow-growing green tea is very limited until the coverings come off in late April - this year's 2023 harvest is limited to less than 5kg
A mild winter and cool spring has made for a beautiful early harvest of shade-grown Reserve Laoshan Green. These sweet and delicates buds and leaves are picked while still under greenhouse protection in the He Family’s ocean-facing plot at the foot of the Laoshan mountains. The early April picking is still intensely sweet and packed with deep minerality.