Living Tea Variety Collection
The Living Tea Variety Collection presents one of our seasonal favorite teas from each of six genres: red tea, oolong, shou puerh, sheng puerh, green and white tea. This representative collection is comprised of teas ranging from earthy, rich and dark to light, floral, aromatic and ethereal. Whether a seasoned tea connoisseur or a beginner in the world of looseleaf living teas, the collection is a beautiful gift, New Years resolution offering or way of exploring one's personal tea journey. We put a lot of care and intention into choosing the teas and hope you absolutely love them. The Collection includes these beautiful leaves:
Rolling Thunder - Dian Hong Honey Red Tea Lincang, Yunnan 2019 - 2 oz
Living Tea is honored to share our first private reserve Yunnan Red Tea cake. This tea comes from old-growth trees in Yiwu mountain. Yiwu is one of the original mountains where all tea was born, yielding an array of high-altitude tea gardens, both old-growth and eco-arboreal. Sweet, syrupy, bright and malty, this is one of the best Dian Hong red teas we've yet encountered. Rolling Thunder comes from first flush Spring 2019 Assamica tea leaves harvested from old-growth trees. The bright, crisp maroon liquor is steady for many brews, hydrating and nourishing, inspiring but not too invigorating. In many ways, this tea brightens the mind and mood. Complex and full-bodied with a traditional honey fragrance and flavor, Rolling Thunder creates strong sparkling sensations throughout the palate, which is one of the reasons for the name. The tea comes from healthy trees and feels very "alive." In this case, the oxidation rate is lower than many traditional red teas, which was intentional in order to maintain the energy of the old trees. The significant concentration of buds in the cakes is part of the reason for the enhanced honey flavors, especially in the later steepings.
Skyward - Ban Tian Yao Oolong - Wuyi Mtn. Fujian, China 2019 - 35g
"Waist halfway to the Sky" is the translation of Ban Tian Yao, which refers to the narrow passages between the cliffs where this tea was first grown in the Wuyi Mountains. This is a very rare Wuyi tea, difficult to harvest and traditionally processed by hand. The traditional roast over charcoal imparts a slight smokiness underneath complex floral, fruit and fig flavors. The tea is dried and withered in bamboo trays and finally roasted over charcoal fire in bamboo baskets. There is a true art to the complexity of processing these famous trees (Min Cong). This is one of the finest examples of Fujian Oolong we've yet encountered, and we're overjoyed to share it this season. Spring and summer tea at its absolute finest.
Understory - Ximu Mountain Shou Puerh Yunnan, China 2013 - 2 oz
This is old-growth ripe Puerh at its quintessential finest: dark, rich, warming, comforting and quiet. The body of the tea maintains a mellow smoothness called yin wei with nice structure and mellifluous thickness like milk. We find the sweetness of fresh spring water, healthy undergrowth and slight asperity. The cha qi moves inward, ostensibly dropping you into the earth. This is a tea for discovering aspects of the self that lie far beneath the surface. This tea is best brewed in a gongfu pot with small cups.
Wisdom of Youth - Big Snow Mountain, Lincang, Yunnan 2019 -2 oz
Living Tea is honored to share our first private reserve sheng cake. This tea comes from old-growth trees on Big Snow Mountain (Da Xue Shan, 大雪山) in Lincang, Yunnan. The fresh leaves are so aromatic, you can smell them as soon as you unwrap the label. The liquor is ethereal beyond description both in terms of the deep, expansive Qi and perfect balance of acrid, bitter and sweet flavors. With a height of 3,500m and a prominence of 2,041m, Da Xue Shan is the most prominent peak of the Indo-Malayan Mountain Range of Southeast Asia. Big Snow Mountain is one of the Five Mountains that are the origin of all tea, and it happens to be our favorite because of its expansive breadth. This tea was handpicked and processed in the spring of 2019. It's a rare and limited treasure that we are honored to share with all of you. The original cakes were completely stone-pressed by hand in the traditional way, leaving them looser, which is better for aging.
Jade Stream - Mi Xiang Taiwanese Green Tea 2020 - 2 oz.
Harvested in the spring 2020, from Nantuo County in Central Taiwan, this beautiful green tea is sweet, grassy and sensational. We particularly enjoy the youthful freshness of the leaf and the briskly uplifting Qi.
Sipping Bough - Aged Sun-dried White Tea 2006 3.5 oz.
Sipping Bough reminds one of ethereal floral morning dew dripping off the heavy boughs of a maidenhair tree. One can detect flavors of honey cream, sugar, lilies, white flowers, and green stems. Bright, gently clarifying, smooth, soft and sweet. This tea consists of fresh old-growth leaves that are withered and sun-dried: no firing, heating, nor rolling, yielding downy, fuzzy top buds and the first two leaves. The age of the tea has added a layer of complexity to the subtle nuance once seeks in white tea. We also appreciate the unusual patience of this tea, significantly greater than other white teas.
White teas do not get bitter when exposed to very hot water, like many green teas, and thus can withstand higher temperature. We like Sipping Bough around 185, with the water temperature rising slightly through later steepings. We also like this tea brewed with leaves directly in a bowl, or gong fu in small pots with small sipping cups.