This bundle includes two types of tea-stuffed mandarins and four 25g bags of pu'er for 150g total (about 30 sessions). This kit is a chance to taste Xingyang's award-winning clean fermentation style and meticulous blending craft, including mini tuocha, loose leaf gong ting shu, tea stuffed mandarins.
This bundle includes four 25g bags of Qianjiazhai tea and a full 100g cake for 200g total (40 sessions). The Zhenyuan Dongsa Cooperative of Qianjiazhai is a loose-knit coalition of families across the remote mountaintops of China’s oldest tea forests dedicated to sustainable stewardship of the wild tea plants, and careful foraging from trees that can be over a thousand years old.
Master Zhou founded the cooperative to refine the finishing craft and picking techniques across Qianjiazhai and bring more well-deserved respect to one of China’s most important but also most unknown tea regions. This tasting kit is an introduction to the incredible diversity of flavor, texture, aroma and aftertaste that wild-foraging in an ancient tea forest can bring.
In this kit you’ll taste the careful heat-free sun dry craft of Qianjiazhai’s sheng pu’er and the fermentation of their shu pu’er, while also tasting the rare near-tea relative camellia crassicolumna, naturally caffeine-free and incredibly intense and aromatic. This kit is an invitation into a little-seen side of tea and its ancient wild origins.
This bundle includes four 100g mini cakes of Crassicolumna tea for 400g total (80 sessions) Crassicolumna is an ancient, wild near-tea relative to the modern camellia sinensis plant, native to the tea forests of Qianjiazhai deep in the mountains. Naturally caffeine-free, Crassicolumna is packed with captivating deep spiced flavor and texture. It has the complexity of pu’er, but a wild flavor all its own.
This special sampler includes twelve 25g pu'er samples, from larger cakes normally unavailable in smaller sizes for 300g total (60 brewing sessions). Get to know a variety of sheng and shu pu'er from workshops all across Yunnan. It's hard to know where to begin with pu'er, but this kit offers a wide survey of workshops across Yunnan for a huge variety of taste, texture and aroma. From cooling, tingling foresty sheng pu'er to cozy rich caramel-spice shu, you'll get to see how much variety there is in pu'er. The cakes sampled are all 'best of their class' examples, some with substantial aging, generally from smaller workshops dedicated to direct farmer partnerships. If you've been looking for a way to get a deep dive into pu'er, this is it!
Qianjiazhai Gong Ting Shu Pu'er is still a very new practice, made only by one of Master Zhou's students in the cooperative. Using the giant buds of Qianjiazhai's wild trees between 100 and three hundred years of age, this tea is carefully and slowly pile fermented to bring out a deep rich sweetness unlike any other shu pu'er out there. Master Zhou was so excited by this experiment he is sharing the technique across the cooperative and encourage more members to keep developing the craft.
The Cooperative's first-ever shu pu’er dragon pearl pressing, this tea is made with beautiful little 2014 buds, allowed to ferment slowly under natural moisture conditions for a sweet and clean flavor profile that shows off the herbaceous side of Qianjaizhai. The loosely pressed. dragon pearls are compact enough for long-term aging and small enough to allow for single brew sessions without having to break apart a bigger cake of tea. The loose hand-twisted compression allows for better and more even aging than anything a machine could achieve.
Master Zhou works with his students in the Qianjiazhai Dongsa Cooperative to introduce shu pu’er fermentation and crafting techniques more widely across the mountain. This buddy, clean, and rich pressed is crafted from pre-Qingming harvest 'gong ting' buds. This tea was allowed to age loose for a decade before pressing into 250g bricks, giving it a nuanced, engaging and extremely clean profile. The bud material yields a thick rich mouthfeel with sweet, lingering spice.
The cooperative’s sweet, dessert like Yi Ji Shu is given even more sweet rich complexity with the addition of tea flowers. Yi Ji or “top grade” is a buddy harvest from 2014 that the cooperative has been carefully aging for almost a decade now. The 2014 harvest was their first experiment with shu pu’er, done completely naturally without the addition of moisture beyond what was in the fresh tea leaves. The warmth and moisture kickstarted the aging while preserving an incredibly clean flavor that has room to get even deeper now that it is pressed with tea flowers.
Qianjiazhai Gong Ting Shu Pu'er is still a very new practice, made only by one of Master Zhou's students in the cooperative. Using the giant buds of QIanjiazhai's wild trees between 100 and three hundred years of age, this tea is carefully and slowly pile fermented to bring out a deep rich sweetness.
This new blend of 2014 gong ting shu pu'er and Autumn 2020 tea flowers was pressed in the cooperative's small 100g cake stone mold. This is the first time Master Zhou has pressed tea flowers with Gong Ting Shu in a cake, and the result is a beautiful visual contrast. The floral boost to the textural complexity and nuance of this budset shu pu’er is a welcome addition. The clean natural fermentation preserves the herbaceousness of the tea, and the florals bring it out even further.
These 5g mini-bricks from Xingyang workshop utilize "Qiao Mu" or wild arbor leaf. This designation refers to groves that have been untended long enough to reach a natural state, including deeper biodiversity and larger plants with deeper roots (and lower yields). This mini-brick provides a great contrast other shu pu'er teas in Xingyang's collection, brewing up with bright fruit and fresh mint. Hibiscus is prominent, with an underlying sticky rice and buckwheat honey note. This is a great testament to the range that Xingyang can achieve through their careful blending and slow fermentation process.
The #6676 blend shu pu'er from Hongfu Workshop is about sweetness and balance, with notes of grains and sugars supported by vanilla and a hint of cedar and nutmeg. Over ten years of age have mellowed this classic tasting profile for beautiful sipping now. The decade of careful storage in relatively dry northern China lifts the sweetness with spiced depth, and adds a thick rich texture that can only continue to age into even more complexity over time.
This pu'er exemplifies all the reasons we like to set our favorite cakes aside and let them age for years. The 10+ years in Wang Yanxin's climate-controlled aging cellar give this tuocha that iconic foresty, cooling almost sparkling quality that makes pu'er so interesting. The cooling texture is accented by notes of rose, juicy papaya and rich black sesame.
This organic-certified pu'er cake from Li Ming Chen Workshop carries their Ba Jiao Ting mark, a designation of their finest pressings. The old tree leaf material combined with over a decade of aging makes this a deeply complex, richly-spiced tea, packed with minerality and depth.