Verdant Tea

Wuyi Oolong Tasting Kit

Wuyi Oolong Tasting Kit

Regular Price $38.80 $34.92

This bundle includes five 25g bags of Wuyi tea 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 lesser varietals and discover a hidden side to Wuyishan.

This bundle includes 25g each of five different Wuyi 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 more 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.

 Taste & compare across varietals: 

Qilan (25g)

Qilan varieties is almost legendary for its deep luscious orchid notes and its subtle incense spice. The Li Family cultivates established 40+ year Qilan bushes on their rocky volcanic mountainside plot in the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve, letting the tea build complexity through biodiverse plantings, and carefully preserved natural forest cover. They hand-pick their Qilan and expertly bring out the florals through hand-crafting over a meticulous 12 hour turning and fluffing process called yaoqing. The careful and restrained roast on this Qilan really allows the florals to shine through, bolstered by the rocky minerality that the Li Family’s teas are famous for.

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Rou Gui Wuyi Oolong (25g)

The Li Family is becoming famous in Wuyishan for their Rou Gui. The combination of a biodiverse plot, full of wildflowers and natural forest cover, the volcanic rocky soil, mature root stock plants, and multiple twelve hour hand-firing processes spread over several months make their Rou Gui a true standout. Classically, Rou Gui is known for its cinnamon spice, but in the Li Family’s capable hands, the cinnamon spice is bolstered by tingling cooling undertones and deep minerality. This Rou Gui is Li Xiangxi’s focus in all her taste training courses at her family’s Yangxian Academy, served to students and visiting dignitaries as a classic representation of what the varietal is capable of.

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Shui Xian (25g)

Li Xiangxi's family has been hand picking and processing tea for generations. Their tea is fed from a mountain spring, with plants between ten and one hundred years old, all grown traditionally without fertilizers or pesticides and picked by hand by the family. This Shui Xian varietal picking really shines with the Li Family's delicate charcoal roasting process to bring out the deep complex forest notes and minerality that make Shui Xian so famous.

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Chun Lan (25g)

This extremely limited offering is crafted from the Chun Lan varietal, rarely seen outside of Wuyishan. It was originally selected by Li Xiangxi as a reserve tea to share with our CSA-style tea club members. Hand-fired Chun Lan combines all the big orchid flavor of Qilan with incense spice and cooling yun. The "Yun" sensation in this tea builds with each infusion over time. After several steepings, this Yun begins to dominate as a lingering physical sensation that strengthens the growing mineral texture and flavor.

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Big Red Robe (25g)

Li Xiangxi's family grows this tea within the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve, hand picking every leaf and delicately roasting this tea in bamboo baskets over charcoal embers to bring out the natural minerality of the region. Li Xiangxi's eldest brother oversees the family's oolong teas, and believes strongly in standing against the modern trend to over-roast and cover the natural flavor of the tea. This makes the family's Big Red Robe unique among its peers. While Big Red Robe is named after five original bushes that still stand today in Wuyishan, modern Big Red Robe is made from Qidan varietal, which is known for its tremendous balance, and deep warmth. It is truly the archetypal tea of the region, and the place to start your exploration of Wuyi Oolongs as a grounding point of reference. The Li Family’s Big Red Robe consistently wins gold medals at Wuyi tea competitions.

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"Praised by emperors
and immortalized in poetry across the ages,
the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve
is the cultural epicenter of tea.

My family has been tending to wild bushes and farming old tea trees
within the preserve for generations.

Living in a place of such natural beauty, we have come to seek balance
in our agriculture and balance in our tea. We preserve the natural forest cover,
we use beyond-organic methods, and we finish our teas by hand in small batches
- all to honor the gift of the place we call home.

I invite you to take the time to taste in our tea the deep complexity, rich texture, and intense aromatics
that define the true heritage of the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve."

 

- Li Xiangxi 李享熹

Our Home: Tongmu, Wuyishan

tea plants grow on the slopes above our family home in Tongmu
our bamboo aqueducts bring spring water to tea plants and our family home

 

  • the most famous tea region in the world

  • wildly propagated tea bushes

    grow out of volcanic rock

  • biodiversity strictly preserved

    by National Park designation

  • established old-tree tea rootstock

  • rocky soil and sweet mountain springs

    for intensely textural teas

  • wild foraged and hand picked tea

    accessible only by family and local Tongmu natives

Our Family

 

Li Xiangxi, her brother, and her cousin work together as a team to manage the family’s wild-preserve teas in Tongmu & old growth varietal oolongs along the Longchuan river.

Li Xiangxi is an ordained Taoist priest, and founded the Yangxian Academy to teach Taoist tea ceremony as well as a philosophy of tasting and growing tea that is in harmony with nature.

While many investor-backed farmers ignored environmental laws in the early 2000’s, tearing out native trees to plant more tea, Li Xiangxi worked with her brother and cousin to reduce the family’s footprint when she inherited the land, encouraging rich wildlife and biodiversity. This effort has made her family pioneers in sustainable farming and local champions as the whole region becomes more mindful of its future and responsibility as the most famous growing region in the world.

Li Xiangxi and her family’s harvests amy be smaller, but their care in agriculture and their meticulous hand-finishing process have won them awards and inspired change throughout the region.

Li Xiangxi and her cousin work with wild foraged leaves at the family home in Tongmu
Mr. Li in the family's Old Tree Shui Xian grove

Our Teas and Craft

traditionally firing Wuyi oolong tea
tiny buds growing untended in Tongmu

We believe that tea should be part of daily ritual.

We finish each leaf with the care that it takes to create tea with lingering aromatics, intense aftertaste, rich engaging texture, and the elusive yun, or after-sensation.

We delicately tease out the aromatics through an 18 hour fluffing and turning processso demanding that our family can’t take the time to sleep when tea is being finished. We devote ourselves fully to the process and see it all the way through.

When our teas' aromatics are just right we lock them in with another 16 hour hand firing, a nearly lost art that we are working to maintain to bring out texture and yunin every leaf. After the initial firing, we rest our teas at least a month and often re-fire up to five time for the perfect balance.

Our dedication wins us gold medals annually at Wuyi tasting competitions, but more importantly, it honors the gift of tea that this incredible region gives us.

Hear our vision for tea

We aren’t in this business for money. We share tea as a connection to nature and as a cultural bridge. We work with importer Verdant Teabecause of years of friendship and deep shared values. We invite you to explore just a handful of videosfrom our time together.

If you are buying tea from one of the most famous regions in the world, video sharing the voices of the growers should be one of the most basic minimums from any importer.

Learn even more!

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