Guan Guan Cha (罐罐茶, Guàn Guàn Chá, "Jar Jar Tea") - Produced from the Tái Chá cultivar of tea plants native to Shiqian, Guizhou, Guàn Guàn Chá is a folk style of tea that was traditionally cooked before being sun dried, similar to Pu‘er. The resulting máo chá 毛茶 ("Hairy tea" - loose, dried leaves) is stored in clay jars (jar is “Guàn” [罐] in Mandarin, which is where this tea gets its name). It is hung from the rafters of the kitchen and aged, sometimes for decades. Fermenting in the humid environment, it gradually turns from a green tea into a fermented Hei Cha. Guàn Guàn Chá is boiled and consumed for its medicinal properties. Our version is a fresh batch of Guàn Guàn Máo Chá, harvested in late spring when the Tái Chá leaves begin to turn purple, from Xiang Ge’s certified organic Tái Chá farm. We were unable to secure an aged batch of Guàn Guàn Chá that we could ensure the quality of, so for now we are enjoying the fresh one. This informally-processed tea is a green tea in the same capacity that Sheng Pu’er is a green tea, except that it is made from Tái Chá plants rather than large-leaf Yunnan Pu'er plants. It’s flavor is smoky, strong, and slightly bitter, not unlike a purple Sheng Pu'er. We’re excited to see how this tea changes as it ages...
I really like this tea. It's a lot like sheng puer, but it's also smoky, and it still has a kind of grassy taste, as well as having a green tea taste. It's a very complex tea that hits a lot of the notes that sheng puer, hei cha, and green tea hit in like the best possible way. It's grassy character is also very unique. It reminds me somewhat of the smell of well-trodden grass at a county fair I used to go to as a kid in Illinois. Imagine that but like wetter and smokier. Honestly I think one of the best teas that WCT sells.