Single Origin Teas

Green Teas and Yixing Teapots

New limited Yixing teapots and the latest green teas have arrived! Yixing teapots are the collector’s items, the prized possession of tea aficionados who can not do without. The reason is because Yixing is the historical ore that produced the kinds of clays that elicits the best qualities out of all kinds of teas, especially the complex types of teas. To that end, collectors marvel over dedicated which clay to what tea, what shape of teapot design pours or steeps the best. Choose a higher metal content clay to extract the high mineral teas such as the Wuyi or High Mountain oolongs, or a sandy, more porous clay for bright and light oxidation oolongs, or the denser clays for Pu-erh or black teas. Green and white teas require a lower temperature so most aficionados use porcelain for steeping those relatively more simple teas. Speaking of green teas, we just air…

Monkey Picked Tieguanyin

Monkey Picked Tieguanyin, one of the oldest traditions in tea lore, is made famous mostly by the Southern Cantonese, whose Dim Sum parlours favor either Pu-erh or Monkey Picked.  Most in the tea world do not know much about this tea, a long roasted, highly carmelized, very strong version of the legendary Tieguanyin. People often ask me if this tea was actually harvested by monkeys, and some misinformed blogs and tea merchants even make claims that it is. While it is not picked by monkeys, those who harvest this tea from Anxi’s precarious, 70-degree slopes possess considerable monkey-like prowess, hence its nick name. Here, the altitude, fog and light spring rains are met with perfect, four-directional winds that together create ideal conditions for pest resistance and optimal growth. This dark roast’s nutty, rich, honey-like body carries pervasive, warm-chocolate notes and an accompanying, intoxicating aroma achieved by custom roasting over charcoal…

The First of the Taiwan oolongs

Taiwan, a small island rich in fruits and agriculture, as well as, traditional Chinese and indigenous cultures alike, is also one of the most important tea regions in the world. One can not claim to be a tea aficionado without having some first hand experiences with Taiwan oolong teas. This season, Taiwan has been afflicted with bad weather like other regions, and all of the harvests have been delayed.  Baochong, for example, one of our favorite oolong teas of all time, has just been harvested and ready to ship to us. Boasting of the intense fragrance of lilac flowers and gardenias, with a vegetal sweet taste and superb refreshing finish in the palate and throat, this is a lightly oxidized oolong, so that one can enjoy the fresh nutrients of green tea, while enjoying the best aromatics that an oolong as to offer. In the region across the way is…

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!

My constant comfort and reliable friend: Charcoal Fire Roasted Tung Ting Tea

One of the many benefits to living in the Bay Area is the variety of unique cuisines we are privileged to enjoy: Brazilian, Ethiopian, Thai, Persian, Vietnamese and more. And as much as I appreciate the wide range of tastes and flavors, there is always that one cuisine that I come back to more often than the rest. Tea is exactly the same — thousands of different types, with infinite varieties of tastes, aromas, and complexities. Yet through years of tasting teas from all over China, Japan, Taiwan, India, and beyond, there’s one that I find myself reaching for time and time again. When you drink as much tea as we do, you begin to know your teas intimately — their personality, their character, how they make you feel. Each tea becomes like a friend. You reach out to different ones depending on the mood you’re in. Some you…

Notes from the Field: Tea Adventures Zhengshan Xiao Zhong

At Tong Mu Village, where the original Zhengshan Xiao Zhong was made and later became known as the Lapsang Souchong in the West. As foreigners are not allowed to go into this region, we had to get a permit, and Mr. Zhang, the villager who makes the tea, had to run around 11 times to get the government officials to agree. You see, from sheer effort alone, we know there are zero real Zhengshan Xiaozhong out there. So let’s let those teas continue to be called Lapsang Souchong- what the villagers don’t know, won’t hurt them right? They don’t know that people send smoke into low quality black tea to create that pine smoke flavor, or how possibly carcinogenic that is. They don’t know that although they make some 300-500 lbs a year for the entire village, worldwide there are literally a ton of Lapsang circulating the globe. Why did…

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