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West China Tea

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100.00 Grams
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Includes in April:

50g Immortal Dew Gu Shu Cha (神仙古樹生茶, Shén Xiān Gǔ Shù Shēng Chá, "Immortal Ancient Tree Sheng Tea") - This tea is a single-farm, single-mountain ancient tree Sheng Pu'er tea grown and processed by master Li Shulin of Nannuo mountain. It is a blend of three ancient tree patches on Nannuo Mountain: DuoyiBanpo, and Shitou. These patches are known for their sweet, fragrant, and bitter characters respectively that produce a balanced blend. Limited quantities of ancient tree material mean that producing one large batch of a blend of different patches is more economical than focusing on specific ancient tree patches, although the market has been tending more toward the single-patch teas as consumers grow more sophisticated. This balanced, easy-to-steep tea makes a great introduction to the soft, sweet character and uplifting Qi of high quality ancient tree Sheng Pu'er without being prohibitively expensive. 

10g Wild Purple (紫芽茶, Zǐ Yá Chá, "Purple Bud Tea") - The trait of purple leaves is a naturally-occurring, random mutation that is found in populations of tea plants all over the world. Research and analysis in the late 20th century found that this purple color denoted the presence of anthocyanins, a class of purple and blue pigmented flavonoids. Anthocyanins are responsible for the color and “superfood” status of many purple and blue berries including blueberries, blackberries, and dark grapes. The appearance of purple anthocyanin pigmentation in tea plant is a rare mutation brought on by exposure to ultraviolet light at high altitudes. The discovery of the unique benefits of purple tea led to the emergence of a market for batches of pure purple Pu’er which became known as Zǐ Chá 紫茶 ("Purple Tea"). The relative scarcity of this purple tea and the time and labor-intensive process of consolidating only purple leaves makes it a high end, luxury tea. While the advent of Zǐ Juān 紫娟 (“Purple Grace”) has made purple tea more affordable in its cultivated form, Zǐ Yá Chá, 紫芽茶 ("Purple Bud Tea") remains highly sought after by connoisseurs for its distinctive character and powerful Qi. Our Nannuo Mountain Zǐ Yá has a bright, clean flavor with little to no astringency, a delicate floral fragrance and a comparable uplifting energy making it one of our most popular top-shelf teas. Due to its rarity only a small quantity can be produced each year. Typically enjoyed fresh, Zǐ Yá also ages well.

100g Man Le Sheng Pu'er Mini Bing ( 曼勒生小餅, Màn Lē Shēng Xiǎo Bǐng, "Man Le Raw Small Bing") - This is a cake of tea from Man Le, Li Shulin's new home. He relocated there after his home on Nannuo Mountain was destroyed by a fire in 2021. While he still maintains his plots on Nannuo Mountain and is still making tea from them, he has also begun using the local Man Le plants to make Sheng and Shu Pu'er, as well as Red tea and White tea.  Man Le was a growing region of the Menghai Tea Factory in the mid 20th century. It was abandoned in the 1970's and the plants that currently grow there are the seed-propagated plants (and descendants thereof) that have been growing there since that time. Many of these plants are feral and grow in the midst of the local pine trees. This cake is made from Man Le Sheng Pu'er processed in the traditional style, involving a lower temperature Sha Qing and a Rou Nian (massaging) step, producing a tea with slightly higher oxidation than a standard green tea. The result is a tea that is darker in color, with less bright floral fragrance but more depth and greater potential to improve with age.  What's really remarkable is how different these Man Le teas taste from their Nannuo counterparts. Despite being processed in the same way by the same person, within eyeshot of Nannuo mountain, this tea has the unusual tasting notes of fresh-opened canned lychee, freshly-laundered linens, and passion fruit seed. It has a gentle bitterness with a strong, lingering hui gan (returning sweetness) and uplifting qi.  This mini bing includes 100g of pressed tea. The base color of the wrapper is green, indicating that it is a Sheng Pu'er. The ring and bat are white, indicating that this tea is made using standard leaves.