China is steeped (pun intended) in history and fable when it comes to chá, or tea, as its country of origin. For the vast majority of the world’s tea drinkers, they’re not only referred to to Chinese tea when they speak of the drink, but of green and oolong varieties – not black, which became vastly more popular in the west simply because it could survive the long journeys of trade missions. The sheer diversity in these lightly oxidized teas is staggering, however, and each one truly unique.
Our Chinese collection contains prime examples of Imperial teas, the teas fabled to have been reserved only for consumption by Emperors across China’s history – sometimes referred to as the Emperor’s Ten Teas or China’s Famous Teas. Longjing (Dragonwell) and Liu An Gua Pian (Melon Seed) are greens of great contrast, comparing nutty sweetness versus a very floral, clean cuppa. Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess) and our Mount Wuyi Qilan are drastically different oolongs, with the former revered aromatic drink that endures much resteeping versus a dark, toasty oolong featuring mineral elements and an underlying sweetness. This bundle includes four small-sized canisters of:
A more oxidized, darker oolong, this tea is born of the Fujian province of China. This is one of our favorite “all the time” teas, as it stands up to many steeps, each of which brings out new nuances of flavor. The liquor of our Fujian oolong brews warm red, and yields a toasty flavor mixed with faint fruity notes. Further steeps draw subtle spotlights to these, as well as mineral flavors.
Pairs well with rice dishes, light pork dishes, nuts, and walks outside at dusk.
Pouchong teas are a unique (and treasured) breed, as they walk a fine line between the distinctions of green and oolong – these gorgeous leaves are extremely lightly oxidized, less though than most oolongs on the greener side of style. Our Jade Pouchong is of Taiwanese origins and high-quality, made with big leaves that produce an amber-green elixir of sweet aroma. To taste, the brew is delicate, subtle, and sweet, and drinks buttery smooth.
Pairs well with sushi, white fish, vegetables, and quiet moments to savor it.
This oolong is a mild tea from the Wuyi Mountains of China’s tea-famous Fujian province. Despite steeping into a rich amber cuppa, the liquor has a surprisingly gentle taste, despite the crisp, bold tones it carries. Those flavors lend a nutty profile that tends to share different mineral and floral elements when resteeped, making for a pleasantly complex cup of tea. Like most teas grown in the Wuyi region, this Qilan oolong is 100% organic.
Pairs well with sushi, shellfish, soups, and blisteringly hot days.
Among the most famous of oolongs, Ti Kuan Yin (also called Tieguanyin, or roughly translated, “Iron Goddess of Mercy”) is named for the iron statue of Guanyin in a Chinese legend, in which a poor farmer is rewarded with the namesake tea for maintaining the statue’s shrine, despite lacking the wealth to repair it . Regardless its origins, Ti Kuan Yin is known for its delicious and aromatic characteristics. Our offering brews to floral fragrance and a delicate flavor of smooth orchid notes that lasts for many steeps.
While Taiwan is famous for their semi-oxidized teas, this Tung Ting is among the finest of green oolongs. Sometimes called Dong Ding (and loosely translated to “Frozen Summit”), this is a high-mountain tea from Nantou county, hand-processed from young leaves and rolled into its characteristic semiball shape.
Tung Ting has an aromatic nose, mingling the sweet fragrance of orchids with a touch of caramel. Once steeped, this tea releases an explosion of flavor in a toasty-rich liquor, rounded with notes of toasted sesame. It drinks smooth and clean, with a full, satisfying mouthfeel. And like many oolongs, Tung Ting re-steeps beautifully, thus inviting the drinking to experience a surprising depth of flavor from cup to cup!
Pairs well with stirfry, bibimbap, pho, and contemplative afternoons.