Plucked from the southernmost tea garden in Yunnan, just above the Vietnam border, this tea has a unique personality. It is harvested a few days before the Lunar New Year, towards the end of winter. The leaves have been dormant all winter long, soaking up nutrients in the soil as they rest. The air is dry and cold this time of year and the leaves pick up a notes of smoke in the air and a dewy sweetness.
When picked, the leaves exude flavors and aromas that range from savory charcoal-smoked veggies to sweet red bean paste. The long winter hibernation has harbored a stamina that will allow this tea to be steeped at least 10 times, each yielding vibrant new notes. The first few steeps offer warm hints of smoke and charcoal, and as each steep reaches deeper within the leaf, it accesses reserves of nectar. Each cup has a healthy amount of body and brings to mind steamed artichoke hearts and summer squash.
Origin: Yunnan, China
One of our most popular teas! The leaves of the Black Honey Oolong are gorgeous, curled, first-flush tips from the Luye township in Southern Taiwan. The aroma of the dry leaves is so sweet and intoxicating, but nothing compared to the steeped honey-like fragrance and flavor. This tea is grown on a single organic farm run by a woman and her son. The region is home to a type of bug called the leaf hopper, which bites the tea plants and sucks the nectar from the leaves, causing the fermentation process to begin while the leaves are still on the plants. When these leaves are plucked and oxidized, the result is a naturally honey-like sweetness within the leaf. Several other growing regions try to replicate this process, but this is where is occurs naturally.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Origin: Luye, Taiwan
British diplomat and statesman Charles, Second Earl of Grey, is said to have received the original recipe for this scented tea in China in the Nineteenth Century. Despite its worldwide popularity, no one can say for certain what was in the original formula, or who the source was of this spectacular combination of black tea with oil of bergamot orange. We do know that the best ingredients produce the best blends. Blue Willow uses only fresh oil of bergamot, derived from the Mediterranean bergamot plant, a variety of citrus. We blend premium Chinese and Indian black teas, applying just the right amount of bergamot oil. Our method creates a perfect balance of the robust citrus aroma of the Mediterranean orange and the warm, oaky, fruity flavors of the tea leaves themselves. Blue Willow’s Earl Grey blend is accented with the addition of blue cornflowers and orange peels, which liven up the appearance of the tea and add an extra floral hint to the flavor. Taken black, with a twist of lemon, or with milk and sugar, Earl Grey has won the favor of many tea drinkers and provides an excellent cup at breakfast, teatime or with dessert.
Pure Ceylon tea is blended with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans to create this aromatic blend. The sweet smell of vanilla beckons and the bold black leaves create an astringency that is accented by the natural sugars. This tea delivers a brisk pick-up throughout the day with an alluring accent. Especially great iced with fresh lemon. While there is no bourbon whisky in this blend, it makes a great base for a hot toddy!
In Scandanavian legend, the hero Beowulf battled monsters in the bitter chill of East Frisia, an area bordering the North Sea and the Netherlands. Now, the monsters faced by Frisians are bitter winds and harsh winters. As a result, the tea consumption is over 5 lbs. per capita annually. For those who live here, tea is an all-through-the-day ritual, prepared strong with the addition of cream and a lump of rock sugar.
Our brisk, custom blend employs the tradition of using a 2nd flush Estate Assam with tea from Ceylon and China. The tea itself has a full-bodied malty quality with long-lasting finish. Traditionally, East Frisians never stir tea in the cup. It is meant to be enjoyed in 3 layers; the cream or “sky”, the tea or “water” and the sugar or “land”.