This summer plucked Darjeeling brings a lot to the table. Softer and sweeter than the Autumnal flush, this tea steeps a well rounded cup. The aroma offers warm notes of cured tobacco and baked clay. The liquor is full and complex, with sweet muscat grapes at the tip of the tongue with an underlying base of dark cacao. The flavors complement each other perfectly and reveal a slight citrus hint that lingers long after each sip.
Plucked right before the summer monsoons in June, the sweetness of the tea is dependent upon the arrival of thrips, small flies that bite the leaves. The result is similar to that of bug-bitten teas in Taiwan and China, and increases the nectar-like flavors in the leaf.
This tea comes from the Makiabari Estate, the world's first certified biodynamic, organic and fair-traded tea estate. The business model of the estate centers on the involvement and input of everyone who works there, and each worker owns a small percentage of the operation. Their innovative and progressive practices have made the estate a model for others to increase sustainability across all platforms.
Picked and processed in the 1990s, this shou puerh was processed in Menghai and dry stored in Kunming ever since. The leaves are plucked from feral tea trees and have not been compressed. Dry storage has allowed the tea to develop its fermentation slowly, preserving much of the energetic and flavor characteristics within the tea. The aroma is earthy and warm and it steeps to an impressively smooth soup. The flavors are rich but are able to stand out without becoming muddled or dirty. Soft undertones of driftwood lay the base while a clean earthen flavor takes center stage. The tea finishes with warm hints baked clay and moss and leave behind a refreshed palate and an open airway and chest. Only a small quantity of this tea is available.
Origin: Yunnan, China
This loose puerh from Mangjing village is made up of leaf from several family's efforts to combine all of the old growth and feral tea growing in the mountains. The fog-covered hills are home to an incredible range of biodiversity, in which tea plants thrive in the mineral-rich soil that feeds the local ecosystem.
This tea was plucked and pile-fermented in 2015, and has been evolving in the years it has been aging. The liquor is a rich umber with a strong peat-like aroma. Each sip allows you to explore the depth and variety of flavors present in the leaf, from chocolate, to earth, wood, and notes of spice. The leaves can be re-steeped all day long and their warmth and smoothness have the effect of cultivating an inner, grounded energy.
Plucked from wild trees growing high on Ai Lao Mountain, this loose leaf shou cha is perfect as an introduction to puerh or as a refreshing breather for the afficionado. It has been sorted to include only the tips and has an effect that is clarifying and uplifting.
The first steep yields a bright and vivid infusion, with each consecutive cup reaching deeper notes of the leaf. The mineral content of the soil is prevalent in the cup with bright, energizing notes of copper, and grounding undertones of cocoa and damp earth. The liquor has a silky mouthfeel and leaves a lasting coolness in the throat, unusual for a tea of this style.