Asian tea enthusiasts believe that the earlier the pluck, the better the green tea. They are eager for the arrival of spring, as the time for harvesting early-season green teas is only-once a year and fleeting.
Our gorgeous selections of Before the Rains teas have just arrived, and we are thrilled to be able to offer them to all of our tea enthusiast customers. These lovely green teas are from eastern China and western China and all of them epitomize the ‘ideal’ of fresh and sweet.
Du Yun Mao Jian – Fuzzy TipAlthough we have encountered this lovely tea in China, this is the first time that we have had Dun Yun Mao Jian for sale. It’s one bud-one leaf plucking standard is reminiscent of the appearance of Pan Long Yin Hao ( Dragon Whiskers ). It has an earthy, woodsy flavor that makes me think of Xin Yang Mao Jian: both of these teas possess a straightforward, minerally-backbone that is very pleasing, and a telltale clue to their western China origin. Dun Yun Mao Jian is from Guizhou Province, a place of fascination and wonder that is populated by several of China’s colorful ethnic minority groups known for elaborate silver jewelry, embroidery and textile arts.
Fo Cha- Buddhist Tea
Fo Cha is the local name for the tea from Jiu Hua mountain, a magical place of dense woods, waterfalls, bamboo forests. And green tea that has a refreshing sweetness from the special environment of the tea gardens. Jiu Hua mountain holds special memories for us: on our first tea buying trip to China we visited the Zhan Tian Buddhist Temple ( we had a vegetarian meal there and tea with the head monk). Later, we had a midnight tour of the bustling Jiuhua Mao Feng Factory ( yes, they work round the clock during prime harvest season ). The leaves are long and needle-shaped and covered with tiny white hairs, and very fresh tasting.
Gu Zhu Zi Sun – Purple Bamboo
This tea is cultivated on Mount Guzhu on the western side of Lake Tai in Zhejiang Province. Purple bamboo has an interesting appearance – the bud is tight and the single leaf is long and full and slightly opened. Some leaves have a light yellow cast, a mark of early spring plucking ( end of March ). Purple Bamboo tea was one of sage Lu Yu’s most cherished teas. He brought this tea to the attention of the Tang Emperor Dai Zhong ( 762-79 ) who order the creation of the first imperial tea garden at that site to insure continual supply of Purple Bamboo tea to his court. Purple Bamboo has a classic eastern China ‘taste’: sweet, clean and refreshing.
Jing Shan Silver TipThis tea has great historic significance in China. Jing Shan was the place where the great temple of Jing Shan ( once believed to have comprised close to three thousand buildings ) welcomed Buddhist monks and scholars during the Tang dynasty ( 618-907 ). This temple was one of the most famous temples in China, and its tea gardens were abundant and especially prized for its fragrance and sweetness. It is from this place that priests returning to Japan brought back word of the delicious nature of Jing Shan tea. Over time, the temple and the tea gardens fell into ruins, but today, thanks to the efforts of the Tea Research Institute of Hangzhou nearly fifty years ago, the gardens are thriving once again. Our Jing Shan is a Hao Ya style curled leaf with abundant white tip.
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