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 oolong tea for 125g total (25 sessions). Oolong is the most technically-demanding and time-consuming tea in the world to produce, and our partners take on the challenge relying on their own hands and their senses, not machinery, meaning sleepless nights and 20 hour days in the workshop to finish their tiny micro-batches of varietal-driven oolongs that honor their specific microclimates, from Wudongshan to Daping Village.
This sampler brings together iconic oolong teas from our partners across China to share a glimpse at the magic and complexity that comes out in the long turning and fluffing process that defines oolong teas and gives you a sense of how many styles can exist within this single category, from dark roasts and aged oolong to fresh floral vibrant green oolong.
This bundle includes three 25g bags of aged oolong tea and one 90 gram cake for 165g total (33 sessions).
Taste through the decades with this selection of hand-picked and hand fired oolongs from Master Zhang in Daping Village and the Li Family in Wuyishan. Our partners have opened their reserves of aged oolongs, including selections decades-old. Fine aged oolongs are carefully re-roasted yearly to control for moisture and maintain optimal conditions for flavor texture and aroma to keep building complexity over time. As Zhang Rongde explains, "Tea may be dried, but it is still living inside. In roasting, you need to have experience. You need to understand the tea, the leaves, the fire. Only then can you make good tea."
This sampler shows off how differently teas can age. You can expect a diverse range of flavors, united by an inexplicable depth and commanding texture only possible through perfect finishing and patient aging.
This bundle includes 25g each of five different Wuyi oolong teas for 125g total (25 sessions). Wuyishan is perhaps the most famous tea growing region in the world, and our partner Li Xiangxi and her family cultivate their award-winning oolongs in a perfectly-situated gorge along the Longchuan river within the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve, a pristine environmentally-protected region where biodiversity is key, and tea grows alongside wild bamboo, evergreens, and flowers.
Part of that biodiversity is about encouraging not just the widely known varietals like Rou Gui or Qilan to grow, but also making space for rare and difficult to find varietals not often seen or known outside of Wuyishan. Li Xiangxi believes that each varietal bring its own unique style to the pure expression of Wuyi minerality, and this sampler is a testament to those unique perspectives. Taste through five Wuyi oolong teas - including famous cultivars and less-well-known varietals.
This bundle includes four 25g bags of oolong tea for 100g total (20 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.
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.
Shui Xian is named after the Narcissus flower (or Daffodil), and the dark roast on this Shui Xian brings out beautiful florals in contrast with dark forest and wood notes. Mr. Li hand-fired this batch of Shui Xian to give its cooling texture even more sparkling, tingling intensity. Shui Xian varietal is known for its foresty woody flavors and deep lingering texture. The Li Family’s biodiverse forested tea gardens within the Wuyi Ecological Preserve help play up the varietals natural complexity.
Laoshan Roasted Oolong is a triumph of technique coming together with the iconic chocolatey flavor that Laoshan has become famous for. An eighteen hour process in the workshop brings deep complex minerality, fruity and floral undertones to this fully-oxidized reserve harvest. Since it’s invention just a few seasons ago, the He Family has been sharing their technique with their neighbors; now five families in Laoshan are producing Laoshan Oolong. It is affectionately called “Dou Dou Cha” (little soy bean tea) by everyone in Laoshan, both for Laoshan teas’ unique “soy bean” aroma and for the oolong’s adorable rolled shape. This spring, Mr. He reserved part of his family’s early spring shade-grown harvests specifically to create this special reserve grade Roasted Laoshan Oolong tea.
Laoshan Green Oolong takes the beautiful mineral-forward green bean profile of Laoshan Green and gives it an astounding depth and complexity through meticulous labor intensive craftsmanship. Mr. He starts with sweet and fresh shade-grown leaves, then kneads and shakes the leaves to bring out rich florals and fruity undertones. Heat locks in the green quality of this tea before it can oxidize, yielding a fresh pure and honest expression of the unique flavor of the region. This special reserve tea was made from the He Family's early spring shade-grown harvests, picked while the winter greenhouses are still in place to protect against the cold northern climate.
Mao Xie, or Hairy Crab, is the native cultivar to Daping. The village is extremely proud to be a birthplace of Maoxie varietal, and Master Zhang is excited to share this tea. Grown without pesticides and nourished with natural canola flowers for fertilizer, this tea is uniquely savory and creamy in a way that Tieguanyin cannot be. By growing Mao Xie alongside Tieguanyin, Qilan, Rou Gui and other varietals, Master Zhang can achieve a more biodiverse tea garden yielding healthier plants and better flavor quality.