Know Your Tea

New Harvest Phoenix Oolongs

A few years ago, I chanced upon a hidden village deep inside the Phoenix mountain in Guangdong, China in my many years of exploring this mountain. The valley was filled with two things: intense mist and fog, and some very old tea bushes. Upon closer look, they were not bushes, but miniature tea trees. The arbor type called Single Grove (dancong) grows only in the Phoenix Mountain- huge bonsai trees who branch out from the root. They grow very very slowly, but are also incredibly difficult to harvest. Thick milky white lichen grow on the wet branches, and the phoenix bird beak-like leaves are sparse and few at the ends of these branches. In the hidden village, over 1000 years ago, the legend was that the She tribal people of the village were graced with a heavenly warrior. After defeating a Mongol king, the warrior was granted a limitless gift…

Our Favorite Tea: Lu Shan Clouds and Mists

Many customers ask, what is your favorite tea? We have favorites in each category, but if we were to choose the one single, most popular tea of all time of all of our offerings, it would have to be Lu Shan Clouds and Mist green tea. A shop favorite since we introduced it back in 2006, and being one of the only companies in the U.S. willing to put in the extra legwork to secure such an esoteric green tea from a Taoist mountain in the middle of no where in China, Lu Shan Clouds and Mist lives up to its mysterious appeal. Full of umami and buttery viscosity, this dark green, spiral shaped green, grows slowly in its fog shrouded environment. We are happy to secure a batch from the first couple of days of harvest around April 2nd, so please order yours and have it arrive next week!

New Spring 2017 Pre-Ming and Pre-Rain Dragonwell Harvests

New Spring Harvest Teas Coming In The Spring 2017 Harvest Pre-Rain Dragonwell and Pre-Ming Dragonwell teas are available for pre-order now! Dragonwell tea is legendary and unbelievably sought after. Scarce, sophisticated, and hand processed The most prestigious green and white teas in the world will be harvested at the end of this month, provided there were no new climate issues. This year, tea regions such as Hangzhou did not experience any snow, so the Dragonwell young leaf buds are expected to sprout as early as March 20. We want first dibs on the very best leaf buds that spring out from the winter dormancy. They are full of the earth’s vitality and early spring sun rays. Because this was a mild winter, the hot weather might come fast, forcing the tea leaves to mature too soon. It’s best to get the earliest sprouts. That said, we are allowing for pre-orders…

Gift Guide : Give the Perfect Tea

During the holiday season, there are many giftees to consider, not to mention parties to attend. Often, we grapple with what to bring the hostess, what to gift our office mates or best clients, and for that friend who is an aficionado, how can you bring something appropriately impressive without breaking the bank? The gifts you bring should be unique and carry a special message as well, if possible! For the many parties to attend, the hostess gift is usually a bottle of wine, but tea will be served at the surefire dessert time. Help the hostess impress her guests with farm direct, high elevation artisan teas that are whole, loose tea leaves, for a healthy and impressive experience that few have had. Teance features many smaller size samplers that allows the hostess to choose to serve a range of options, and a teapot like this Kinto teapot will be much…

Know Your Tea: Unearthing the Beauty and Uniqueness of White Tea

White tea is not green tea, nor can it be easily defined as just a harvest of tea leaf buds in the spring. White tea was named for the under belly of its unopened leaf buds that retain baby fuzz and make the buds look silvery white. But not all unopened buds are then automatically white teas. The criteria of single origin white tea is three fold: It has to be of the Fujian Da Bai varietals #1, or #2. These varietals produce large, full, whitish leaf buds with a lot of flavor. Indigenous to the northern Fujian area around Fuding, near Taimu mountain, Da Bai varietals are suitable for making green tea as well. It must follow the white tea processing method, which is strictly sun or hot air dried. Modern day production methods include a room where hot air is forced through a room full of bamboo racks…

Getting started with tasting teas: tips on how to become a connoisseur

How does one taste all the depth and nuances of tea like a pro without going through any extensive training? In the connoisseurship of wine, many folks become certified wine sommeliers only to learn its appreciation at a professional level. Tea is more complex on the palate than wine. Yet few of us have the luxury of training in tea tasting to fully appreciate what tea has to offer. However, you can follow these guidelines below to getting acquainted with the process of how to taste tea like a pro: Preparation is important. In the beginning of your taste journey, be sure to set aside the space and time to devote to tasting and learning, without partaking in food or other drinks that might skew your palate. Developing a palate means you have to start fresh. Avoid garlic, spices, curries, and other pungent herbs at least a few hours prior…

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