We have four new great teas available! Jasmine Pearls, Wu Yi Yan Cha, 10 Year Old Tree TKY, and Ying De Red.
Real Jasmine Pearls. These are long buds and leaves that are scented with real jasmine flowers. Some green teas are perfumed with oil, others scented with natural or unnatural fragrances. In those cases, whether or not it's natural doesn't really matter. What matters is that it's all done just to cover up an inferior green tea that's otherwise not worthy of drinking. Not these pearls, they are curled into perfect spheres and have the sweetest, most natural jasmine taste that compliments the taste of the green tea they are made from. Put 3-4 in a cup and pour boiling water on them. Watch them sink to the bottom and sip off the top. As they sit, lower grade green teas go bitter or sour or get too strong. A good sign of an ultra high grade jasmine tea is that it does not go bitter. These leaves, when used in the right proportions (less is more!), will give a huge taste and never go bitter. If you'd like to steep them in a gaiwan I'd suggest using up to 8 pearls if you like your tea strong. In a gaiwan they can be steeped up to 4 times. These are a great value, because you use so few for a fantastic cup of tea!
We also have a new Wu Yi tea in, a spring-fall sort of tea. Picked in the spring, this tea was not finished being processed until the fall. This means a fresh roasted taste to the tea will give it plenty of juicy plum notes and a hint of cinnamon at the finish. It is said that in the best most "classic" tasting Wu Yi teas, which can give up to 20 steepings, that in the last 5 steepings, rock teas give off an orchid flower note that only presents itself only at this time. Today after 10 -12 steepings, most rock teas just peter out and go watery. We chose this Wu Yi tea because it has that orchid flower note at the end. This is a great rock tea to teach yourself about Wu Yi teas. When you brew this tea be very selective about your water source and it's mineral content as that will have a dramatic effect on this tea.
Our newest "old" addition to our Ti Kuan Yin family is our 10 year-old TKY. There are a few things that make this a spectacular tea. Most oolong tea bushes today have shorter lives than they used to. To find 10 year old trees, and in addition, to have so many leaves hand picked from that bush are a terrific find. In addition to starting with a good tea, having an expert hand to process it brings out the best flavors. A longer oxidation time gives the tea a "Sook Heung" toasty, roasted, grainy, bready taste.
We also have our best selling Ying De red tea back. You'll remember this is the hybrid plant bred from Yunnan big leaf and Feng Huang Dan Chong. This is an ultra high grade of "Hong Cha" red tea. With huge leaves and buds, this tea has a deep red color, a bittersweet cocoa note. On days when the wind is howling and the rain is coming down in sheets, it is an excellent paring with milk for an authentic Chinese style milk tea to keep you warm.