One of our favorite teas! These tiny leaves have so much going on. Plucked in Fujian in the early spring, the tips are fully oxidized and lightly smoked. The dry leaf smells like plums and burnt caramel and just the steam is intoxicating. The tea itself is bold and sweet with a perfect balance of hardy oak smoke and chocolate and delicate fruity overtones.
Origin: Fujian, China
If you're a fan of Japanese green teas and haven't tried Tamaryokucha yet, you're missing out. This tea has some of the most robust flavors out there. Grown in Ureshino, it is produced in a way that is a cross between Gyokuro and Sencha. The tea plants are shade grown similar to Tencha (for making Matcha) or Gyokuro. This step increases the chlorophyll and decrease the bitterness. Then the leaves are plucked, but much younger than even a Sencha. The result is an incredible tea with vivid green liquor and an flavor that excites the senses. The aroma is like seaweed and fresh cut grass and the flavor saturates your whole mouth with umami.
To get the most out of this tea steep it lower than usual (around 140°-150°) for 1 minute. When resteeping, pour after 10 seconds. This tea is great for over 4 steeps and the leaves can be eaten afterwards with the addition of a little salt, dashi or soy sauce.
Origin: Ureshino, Japan
*The 2023 harvest is back to its full juiciness after the 2022 harvest, which had a bit more heat in its processing. Enjoy all those flavors!*
Made from a blend of two Taiwanese oolong cultivars, grown in Pu-er and processed as a black tea, this tea has a growing and dedicated cult following.
The family who tends to these plants operates a small organic farm and grow mostly Taiwanese cultivars. Red Dragon comprises leaves hand plucked from Ruanzhi and Jinxuan cultivars, grown at nearly 2000 m elevation.
This tea offers up a complex cup that is both wholesome and seductive. Enticing aromas of juicy lychee and smokey cedar give way to a full-bodied cup with the perfect balance of sweet and tart plum and toasty barley.
Origin: Pu'er, Yunnan
Grown in the foggy hills of Kirishima, this tea is made by two brothers who are producing some exceptional quality teas. The moisture of the air and fertile soil from the nearby volcano create a perfect environment for growing complex teas. This Sencha is plucked from a single farm that is completely self-sustaining and bio-dynamic. This is one of the most full bodied and balanced senchas I've had the pleasure of cupping. Part of that is because the tea plants are nearly 100 years old with gnarled trunks and roots reaching deep into the earth to pull up all the minerals the volcanic soil holds. The aroma of the leaves is invigorating and fresh and steeps to an amazingly smooth tea. The mouthfeel is silky with a deep umami character and a bright finish. This is an asamushi tea so the leaves are not as broken as the Asatsuyu, creating a softer tea that is often more approachable for people new to Japanese greens.
Region: Kagoshima, Kyushu
Picked and processed by hand in the small village of Xi Ping in Anxi, this expertly-crafted Tieguanyin is a perfect representation of the depth and complexity this tea can offer. Plucked in the spring and roasted over hot charcoal in bamboo baskets the dried leaf gives off hints of toasted biscuits and soft magnolia blossoms. Once steeped, it exudes enticing aromas of fresh baked goods while preserving the underlying freshness of the green leaf. The mouthfeel is full bodied and silky and the flavor is crisp, sweet and warming with an herbaceous note reminiscent of squash blossoms. The warming sensation stays in your mouth and throat urges you to take another sip.
The leaf itself is medium-oxidized and plucked from old Tieguanyin plants that have been in the family for generations. The soil it grows in is rich with minerals which add to the depth and roundness of the flavor. Only a small quantity is available.
Origin: Anxi, China