For lovers of the Rooibos Captown, meet its twin, Rooibos Passion: copied from the original, but with organic ingredients and a name that helps describe the flavor.
Rooibos is a member of the legume family with needle-like leaves, native to South Africa. Rooibos Passion gives you a perfect caffeine-free pick-me-up for any time of day. The sweetness of passion fruit accents the earthy flavor of the rooibos, while wildflowers add an aromatic and flavorful perk. While this offering is excellent when sipped hot, it makes a truly refreshing and stimulating iced tea as well.
These tiny Yunwu tea tips curl into perfect little spirals, resembling floating clouds. The aroma is soft, sweet and fresh like morning dew. Steeped, the leaf buds unfurl to reveal mild vegetal notes accented with a buttery smoothness and slightly dry finish. Plucked in the early spring, these Pre-Ming harvested leaves are forgiving and easy to steep. They can handle short, rich gongfu steeps or longer, western-style infusions without becoming astringent.
Origin: Jiangxi, China
This unusual cultivar is named Bai Ye Wang, or "King White" because of its incredibly light, yellow leaves. Grown in the Phoenix Mountains, this true Dancong oolong brings many attributes to your cup. The dry leaves steep to a mottled aprearance with amber, yellow and green colors intertwining in each leaf. The aroma is enticing with juicy hints of stewed apricots and olive oil. The flavors progress with each sip exuding a honey, fruity sweetness, coating the mouth with a tingly silkiness. Robust and complex, this tea will steep well over 8 times, with each steep underlining different flavor notes. A limited amount is available for the year, and it won't last long!
Harvest: Spring, 2023
Origin: Guangdong, China
Here's a fun one that's really gotten popular in the tea shop. This tea was an experiment by Young, the producer of the Ancient Sun, Red Dragon and Soft Branch. Here, he took large, curling ancient tree leaves, fully oxidized them and scented them with nuo mi xiang (sticky rice aroma herb). The leaves are left overnight, layered with the herb, and the herbs are removed in the morning. The process is repeated several times until the aroma of the herb has permeated the tea. The result is a tea with a sweet, sticky rice aroma, full body, zero astringency, and lots of versatility. The leaves themselves can be steeped in a gaiwan to really appreciate the way the scenting penetrates the layers of the leaf, or it can be long-steeped into a stronger tea that will not get astringent. It makes an incredible iced tea, and we're having a lot of fun getting creative with it.
Origin: Yunnan, China
This is a new edition we were so excited to bring home from our 2023 Japan trip. Grown from the Ujimidori cultivar in Wazuka, this crafted on a woman-owned, organic family tea farm by Teruko Azuma.
Teruko has been pushing the boundaries of what Japanese teas can do, producing exquisite white teas, oolongs, black teas, and experimenting with innovative processing methods. This oolong is no different. The leaves are mid-high oxidized, heated, and then roasted in her hojicha roaster. The result is a tea with similar characteristics as Phoenix Mountain red teas: chocolately, fruity, nutty and toasty. The warm notes of roasted cedar fill the mouth, with a hint of plum-like fruit and lingering burnt sugar sweetness. We like to steep this in a gaiwan with short, repeated steeps, but it also does well with longer steeps without becoming bitter.
Origin: Uji, Japan
This shou Puerh comes from the Ai Lao Mountains and is delicious by itself, but its real treat is the herbs mixed into the leaves. The leaves of Nuo Mi Xiang (Semnostachya Menglaensis) literally translate to "Sticky Rice Aroma", and for a reason: they give off an aroma uncannily similar to sticky rice. Combined with the Puerh leaves, the combination is deep but uplifting, sweet yet earthen, and steeps over and over again. The liquor is a clean deep red which will keep you going for 8+ gongfu steeps.
Each individually-wrapped tuocha weighs 5g., making it perfect for travel and easy steeping.
Origin: Simao, Yunnan
We are so pleased to offer Blue Willow private label matcha! After spending years traveling Japan and searching for a high quality, organic, ceremonial grade matcha, up to our standards, we finally sourced an exceptional organic Matcha, which we now use for lattes in our shop.
Introducing Forest Dew: a robust, yet smooth ceremonial grade matcha stone ground from five cultivars in Kirishima, Kyushu. This matcha can be made into usucha for a lively, grassy matcha bowl, or can be made into a latte. The flavor is strong enough to stand up to the addition of milk and/or sweeteners without getting overpowered, and has very little astringency.
We switched to this for matcha lattes in our shop and were just featured on the cover of the SF Chronicle Food and Drink newspaper for best Bay Area Matcha!
We recommend this matcha for usucha (thin tea) or lattes. You can experiment with the thickness you desire as well.
Region: Kagoshima, Japan
This was an experimental tea and only 14kg was produced total. There is no guarantee it will be made again.
This is an incredible tea, high-grown in Shanlinxi and charcoal roasted in Dong Ding. This is a heavily bug-bitten tea, making it extra honeyed in flavor. The roasting was done as an experiment by the master roaster who also makes the Competition Grade Dong Ding. The leaves are mid-oxidized, rolled, oven roasted, then charcoal roasted, resulting in a tea so complex, you will have to taste it to appreciate it. Warm leaves release aromas of toasted almonds, warm stone fruit and a soft floral note. The tea itself is a perfect harmony of flavors; the longan charcoal gives the honeyed flavor a notable depth, while the oxidation level enhances the floral note of the high-mountain elevation without losing any of its freshness. The soup is the color of honey and has an apricot sweetness that lingers after each sip.
Harvest: Summer, 2023
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
For anyone who wants to taste multiple teas without too much commitment, these tea flights are a perfect option. Each gift box contains three of our favorite Oolong offerings. There is enough of each tea to make several servings of each and explore the differences in styles and regions.
Each flight contains Wuliang Beauty, Charcoal Tieguanyin and Wenshan Baozhong.
You can choose to purchase only the teas or include a Porcelain Xi Shi Pot to steep them in ($38 value).
For anyone who wants to taste multiple teas without too much commitment, these tea flights are a perfect option. Each gift box contains three of our favorite Chinese red/black teas. There is enough of each tea to make several servings of each and explore the differences.
Each flight contains Golden Monkey, Golden Snail and Sticky Rice Black.
You can choose to purchase only the teas or include a Glass Flower Gaiwan to steep them in ($48 value).
For anyone who wants to taste multiple teas without too much commitment, these tea flights are a perfect option. Each gift box contains three of our favorite non-caffeinated herbal offerings. There is enough of each tea to make several servings of each and explore the differences.
Each flight contains Soba Cha, Cozy Belly and Bright Eyes.
You can choose to purchase only the teas, or include a Viva strainer cup ($30 value)
For anyone who wants to taste multiple teas without too much commitment, these tea flights are a perfect option. Each gift box contains three of our favorite Puerh offerings. There is enough of each tea to make several servings of each and explore the differences.
Each flight contains Minerals, Sticky Rice Puerh and Wild Forest Tips.
You can choose to purchase only the teas or include a Shi Piao Yixing Pot to steep them in ($86 value).
Everything you need to make A+ matcha at home. This kit comes with a beautiful, textured black ceramic chawan (tea bowl), chasen (whisk) and chashaku (scoop). You can either get just the set or include some of our Shohaku or Kinrin Matcha at a discount. Each of these items separately add up, so get them together to save on everything!
It comes all packed safely in a compact box and basic instructions are included if you need a little guidance.
We brought in two Japanese Oolongs on our trip to Japan this year, and want to give you the opportunity to try them both!
The first is from Kagoshima. This is an aged Benifuki Oolong made by Yasuhisa Ueno. We first introduced this 7 years ago and haven't carried it since. After visiting him in May, we found that the oolong flavor has improved after aging. This is a lightly-oxidized, rolled oolong with a perfect balance of floral and vegetal notes.
The second is from Wazuka. This is an Ujimidori roasted oolong we are calling Wazuka Oolong. It is highly oxidized and roasted in Teruko Azuma's hojicha roaster. The result is a robust tea that has a chocolatey, plummy, magnolia rollercoaster of flavors. We were to impressed by this tea we had to share it with you.
$ 50.00 $ 54.00
If you love matcha, but can't decide on which to start with, why not try both? This combo includes 30g tins of both of our very first Blue Willow Ceremonial Grade Matchas, grown organically and/or without pesticides.
The first is the Forest Dew Matcha from Kirishima. Made from a blend of 5 cultivars, this matcha is organically grown and stone ground. It has a robust yet smooth flavor that has made it perfect for Matcha Lattes. In fact, it is now what we use in the shop and we were just voted best tea shop in the East Bay and one of the best places for matcha in the Bay Area by the SF Chronicle. Find out why everyone is loving it...
The second is the Uji Jade Matcha from Wazuka. This is a single Samidori cultivar ceremonial grade matcha, grown without pesticides and stone ground. It is incredibly smooth and fulfilling, with a light body and invigorating energy boost. It makes perfect usucha (thin tea) and should be enjoyed by itself without additions.
Everything you need to gongfu on the go. These molded cases are sturdy and are a perfect fit to hold your teaware snug on all your travels. The 100ml gaiwan and three cups are smooth porcelain and nest inside each other with a tea towel to fold between the layers. The gaiwan fills the cups exactly, but there's a pitcher in case you travel solo or in pairs.
Choose between black, red or grey cases. Each one has a keychain attachment so you'll never lose it.
Made from mutton fat jade, this tea set is not only beautiful, but tough too. Everything you see here gets nestled into a bag and tucked into a molded travel case. The porcelain has a translucent quality to it with mountains painted on the sides. The dark glass pitcher has thick walls for durability and adds a little drama to the set. You can either play it neutral and choose a forest green case or embrace your inner diva with the patterned case.
I have brought this around the world with me and it is still in perfect shape. I even let my 5-year-old make tea and he has not even chipped it yet. It's a great set!
Strain your tea in style. Sure, you could use a run-of-the-mill mesh strainer (which we have also) or you could use a handmade tin strainer that will filter out any leaves with love. Literally, the holes make a heart shape <3
This will last forever and will fit any receptacle with its stem.
I take this everywhere! Easy to use and so handy, this is my go-to when I'm on the go. The double-walled borosilicate glass sides keep in heat so the outside stays cool, and the metal lid screws on snugly to keep it from spilling.
You can make tea three ways with this set:
Holds roughly 12 oz.
Be sure to heat the glass first before pouring freshly boiling water in to prevent the glass from cracking. Hand wash only.
For those new to steeping and seasoned pros alike, this easy gaiwan offers something for everyone. Clear glass allows you to witness the leaves unfurl and monitor the intensity of each steep. The lid fits perfectly into the petal grooves and has holes to strain the tea without needing to tilt it. It holds 175ml, roughly 6oz. of tea.
If you have never used a gaiwan before, it is an excellent method for making a multitude of different teas, mostly Chinese and Taiwanese greens, reds, blacks, oolongs, and some younger or sheng puerhs.
Whether you're an avid traveler, or just looking for an afternoon picnic, it's always important to protect your teaware on the way. These padded bags are big enough to keep your favorite gaiwan or teacup safe on the go!