Crimson Spring (朱泉, zhū quán, "Crimson Spring") is the product of more than a decade of research by Mabian tea farmer and tea master Heng Yi. Heng Yi has been processing tea from the wild tea plants of Mabian in rural Sichuan province for more than twenty years. Traditionally, they only produce green tea in Mabian, but Heng Yi studied with a Fujianese tea master to learn the art of oxidiing tea to produce red tea. Over the years he has refined his technique, and also begun separating the wild plant material he harvests into increasingly more distinct batches. Crimson Spring is essentially a higher grade of the red tea he produces known as River Red. The difference in quality comes from altitude: while River Red is sourced from plants that grow at around 900 meters above sea level, Crimson Spring is sourced from the peak of the mountain at 1500 meters. Its flavor is gentler and sweeter than River Red, with a light, effervescent Qi and notes of cacao and red fruit with a whisper of lilac on the exhale. This is one of Heng Yi's favorite of his own teas, which is why we chose to source it from among the many grades of red tea he produces.
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Really smooth, really delicious, lasting mouthfeel, everything you look for in a red tea done perfectly.
I received this tea in one of the monthly subscription boxes, and it is easily one of the best black teas I have tried (calling it a ‘black’ tea for comparison to other sources). It has a juicy, complex flavor that ends with a hint of sweetness, and maintained its taste and beautiful aroma through several steepings and a cold brew.