Verdant Tea

Explore Aged Wuyi Tea Pressings

Explore Aged Wuyi Tea Pressings

Regular Price $270.00 $243.00
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This bundle includes three 90g mini cakes and one 100g mini cake of Wuyi tea for 370g total (72+ sessions).

The Li Family makes some of the most sought-after oolongs in China, grown within the pristine Wuyishan Ecological Preserve, hand-picked  and hand-finished by the Li Family and meticulously had-fired multiple times over several months for deep complexity. The biodiversity and rocky geography of their plot contributes to deep forest-evoking teas with a strong mineral texture.

Take all this exquisite circumstance and add aging into the process and you get some stunningly nuanced powerful teas unlike anything else out there. This tasting kit is a chance to build your own Wuyi tea aging program, and see why pu’er isn’t the only tea that gets better with age. This collection spans twelve years and four unique varietals.

Most years, Li Xiangxi doesn’t do any pressing at all, only selecting harvests that she has had the chance to taste over several months when she determines whether they’d be suitable for aging. When she makes her selection, the family gives these teas even deeper hand-firing before finally pressing these mini-cakes. See for yourself what makes aged Wuyi tea so special.

 Taste Special Li Family Pressings: 

2018 Wuyi White Tea (100g)

In an historic first, Li Xiangxi and her family have begun to cultivate Da Bai varietal in the cool, rocky, and singular terroir of their old growth fields in the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve. Using traditional sun-drying and airing techniques, the Li's have crafted finished white tea and pressed it into beautiful 90g cakes for aging. At a glance, it looks like a classic Shou Mei, but a tasting reveals how much the Wuyi terroir impacts the flavor of Da Bai. This tea is packed with deep minerality, balanced complex texture, and cooling foresty notes that you would not find in classic Fuding white tea. The biodiversity, soil, and water of one of the most famous tea microclimates in the world makes this a fantastic new way to experience what white tea has to offer.

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2013 Aged Big Red Robe (90g)

Over the years, Li Xiangxi and her family have spent time exploring the deep rich complexity that aging can bring to their oolongs. Now, they are taking this oolong aging to the next level with full cake pressings, tapping into the family reserve for this 2013 Big Red Robe. This tea was aged loose and carefully hand fired over a low charcoal heat each year during the initial aging process to control moisture and bring out deep textural complexity. Finally, the tea was lightly steamed and pressed in 2021 for aging in cake form. Already, the tea is full of cooling sparkling yun and cedar forest aromatics. It will be exciting to see it continue changing over the years.

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2021 Full Roast Shui Xian (90g)

The Li Family's traditional hand-firing process brings out this Shui Xian oolong's naturally cooling, tingling textural sensations, foresty flavors, and lingering sweetness. This special pressing is the Li Family's very first Shui Xian cake, finished for long term aging to keep building deep complexity over time. Shui Xian is named after the Narcissus flower, but has the deeper meaning of “Water Sprite.” The cliffs above the Longchuan river are full of caves and ghost stories, so it is not hard to imagine this tea getting its name from an old Taoist legend. The Li Family’s biodiverse forested tea gardens within the Wuyi Ecological Preserve help play up the varietals natural complexity.

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2009 Full Roast Tie Luohan (90g)

This aged Tie Luohan (or Iron Arhat) is one of the four famous varietals that define Wuyi oolong teas. Originally roasted and finished over several months in 2009, the Li Family has carefully re-roasted and rested this tea each year over the past eight years. Each meticulous hand-firing process takes over sixteen hours, and in total this tea has been fired fourteen times for deep intense texture and powerful aftertaste. Full of fudgey, salty sweetness, this powerfully flavorful tea steeps out in a long flavor arc over many brews into beautiful mineral sweetness with soothing throat-coating texture and a hint of clean mustiness.

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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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