single origin teas

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Make your best pot of tea. Start with the right teapot.

The “teapot” as a concept is seemingly a simple device, but each individual teapot has a unique functionality directly related to its material composition and vessel form. When choosing a teapot for use or purchase there are a few factors to consider. Tune in to Facebook live for Teance Tea Lab  with Trevor on Wednesday 9/12 at 10am for more information. MATERIAL COMPOSITION GLAZED CERAMIC Does not add, take away, or adjust the flavors of the tea. Has a high retention for the water temperature. This means the hot water put in the glazed ceramic vessel will not lose its heat very fast. Ideal for most teas and herbal teas. The most neutral material of the three. UNGLAZED CERAMIC OR STONEWARE Yixing ware is a typical example. Water temperature retention is similar to glazed wares This material is porous. These porous wares will season with usage. This means the tea…

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…

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…

Single Origin Tea Producer: Mr. Lin of Che Shi, Anxi, China

Previously the village doctor, Mr. Lin — a trained physician from a family with generations of single origin tea producers and farmers — gave up his medical practice one day upon realizing that the tea-drinking villagers were just too healthy to need his services. He went back to tea farming with zeal, and decided that he would make his mark in other ways. Discontented with just having grown a true, high mountain, organic Tieguanyin oolong (most organic teas grow on low, flat areas), he has now ambitiously decided to build the first biodynamic tea farm on the highest hill top in his village. Home of the original Tieguanyin, the varietals that grow at his village are the original versions with the best aroma and body. Still not content to leave it at that, he cross hybridized and created a Yellow Gold Tieguanyin Hybrid called Gold Guanyin, which he made into…

The Rarest Teas in the World: A Look at What is Truly Limited

The words ‘rare teas’ have become common place in the greater industrialized tea world.  Anything but CTC or machine made teas have been called ‘rare teas’ by marketers, justifying such usage to mean ‘not infinitely available nor blended into blandness’.  But in the artisan tea world, rare teas are single lot, often made in small batches of less than 100 lbs.. In addition, the rarity must be attributed to conditions that limit possible additional production, either by nature or nurture. Some are dependent on a confluence of conditions, such as the Leaf Hopper bitten Taiwan Beauty of Taiwan. Some are grown on such high elevations, like the Dayuling at 2,500 meters or higher, that by nature of the limited growing areas, the teas are few in yield. Still others, like many Phoenix teas, are harvested from single, antiquated tea trees that are hundreds of years old. In the Yunnan region…

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