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Seasonal Tea — Black Tea

2018 Organic Yunnan Golden Lily

Doug Palas 2018 Black Tea China

2018 Organic Yunnan Golden Lily

In 2008, the most popular style of tea in China was fermented tea called Pu-erh. Yunnan, China, the birthplace of Pu-erh, was seeing unprecedented growth in their tea industry. Farmers increased production in an effort to keep up with demand while entrepreneurs tried to capitalize on the craze by buying land and growing tea. Two years later, when the craze passed, there was a surplus of tea on the market and the demand for Pu-erh disappeared seemingly overnight. Some tea gardens were abandoned, but in an effort to cut losses, some growers started to produce black, green, white, and oolong...

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2018 Yunnan Purple

Doug Palas 2018 Black Tea China mingqian yunnan

2018 Yunnan Purple

Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is thought to have originated in South Central Asia, around Myanmar, Yunnan, China, and Eastern India. The indigenous peoples there have produced tea for thousands of years. Numerous cultivars of the assamica variety have been developed by both trial and accident. One of the most unusual is zi juan. It is a cross between Camellia sinensis and another member of the Camellia family, Irrawaddy sinensis, which produces purple-veined leaves and buds. Traditionally used for making fermented tea, it is prized in Central Asia because it is thought to possess great health benefits. For the past...

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2017 Vietnam Reserve

Doug Palas 2017 Black Tea Vietnam

2017 Vietnam Reserve

With over 2000 years of tea production, Vietnam is one of the oldest tea producing countries in the world. It is also the 6th largest producer, yet it is overlooked as a major tea producing country. Unfortunately most of the tea in Vietnam is machine-harvested, machine processed for use in low cost iced tea and tea bag blends. It is rare to find great hand-picked Vietnamese teas outside Vietnam. Six or seven years ago I tasted a sample of an outstanding black tea that reminded me of Darjeeling or a high-grown Shi Lankan tea. It was sweet and floral with...

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2017 Yunnan Golden Orchid

Doug Palas 2017 Black Tea China yunnan

2017 Yunnan Golden Orchid

In 2008, the most popular style of tea in China was fermented tea called Pu-erh. Yunnan, China, the birthplace of Pu-erh, was seeing unprecedented growth in their tea industry. Farmers increased production in an effort to keep up with demand while entrepreneurs tried to capitalize on the craze by buying land and growing tea. Two years later, when the craze passed, there was a surplus of tea on the market and the demand for Pu-erh disappeared seemingly overnight. Some tea gardens were abandoned, but in an effort to cut losses, some growers started to produce black, green, white, and oolong...

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2017 Ancient Black Pearl

Doug Palas 2017 Black Tea High Mountain Thailand

2017 Ancient Black Pearl

In Southeast Asia, the Camellia sinensis plant has been cultivated for thousands of years. In countries such as Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand there exist pockets of assamica variety tea trees of unknown origin. They were planted generations ago, but still produce harvestable tea. Often they were abandoned and rediscovered. Some tea buyers call these “wild” tea trees. To the best of my knowledge, wild growing Camellia sinensis plants to make tea don’t exist. In actuality, these old trees were planted with intention of being harvested. The term I prefer to use these for old heirloom trees is “ancient,” since it...

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