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We believe that green tea should be as fresh as possible. That is why we work with Li Xiaoping in Dragonwell Village and the He Family in Laoshan to buy before the harvest, seal tea in their final bags within days of picking and rush ship each small batch as they are finished. Our partners work hard to manage biodiverse beyond-organic farms, hand pick their tea and carefully hand-finish in small batches to lock in the rich sweet complexity that fine green tea is known for.
This tasting kit is an invitation to see the difference that seasonality makes and the difference that the passion and sustainable practices of small family farming can bring to your cup. These teas are packed with sweet minerality, rich green notes and creamy undertones.
Mrs. Li’s fresh 2019 Shi Feng Dragonwell is here! Mrs. Li is one of the few farmers fortunate enough to have several plots of land on the famous mountainside of Shi Feng, where her original cultivar (Longjing Qunti) Dragonwell is fed by sweet mountain spring water, picked by hand, and crafted one leaf at a time by her husband. She cultivates her world-famous tea using entirely organic farming techniques.
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Dragonwell varietal #43 has been carefully bred and selected in the last fifty years as a new tea well suited to Shi Feng’s terroir. It buds earlier and in colder weather than classic Longjing Qunti varietal and yields yellower plumper buds that make for gorgeous steeping in glassware. While classic Dragonwell is all about rocky mineral texture, the new #43 is a crisp, bright focused experience centered around stronger flavor and aroma and more pronounced sweetness.
Mrs. Li’s #43 varietal is true Shi Feng Dragonwell, growing on one of the highest slopes of the tiny microclimate that Emperor Qianlong declared as one of the best in the world for tea. The soil is full of quartz and white sand while the water comes from natural mountain springs, yielding a flavor that simply can’t be matched outside of Shi Feng itself.
Laoshan Green was the first tea produced at Taiqing temple by the Taoist monks of Laoshan. The plants were originally brought to the region from Dragonwell, and slowly allowed to adapt to the unique cold ocean climate of the area. After two years of cold winters and small harvests, the 2019 spring has finally yielded a long, mild and temperate spring season. The He Family’s Laoshan Green is fed by mountain spring water, picked by hand, and cultivated sustainably using traditional chemical-free farming techniques. The result is rich, fresh flavor full of Laoshan’s famous sweet vegetal-savory soy bean flavor aroma.
Mr. He personally hand twists and finished each leaf in this labor-intensive early-spring bilochun style. Laoshan spring comes much later than southern China, so these early May harvests are picked under cool weather and light sun exposure without their winter greenhouse coverings for sweet and rich flavor. The nuance of the bilochun processing style brings out the subtle minerality of the Laoshan microclimate.