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Seasonal Tea — China

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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2018 Early Spring White Peony

Doug Palas 2018 China earlyspring Fujian mingqian whitetea

2018 Early Spring White Peony

Drinking freshly harvested tea is a completely different experience than drinking tea even 6 months later. Fresh tea is sweeter, less astringent, and has a subtle complexity. Our commitment to offering a rare glimpse into the flavor of fresh tea is best exemplified by our Early Spring Collection. Each year I select small lots of tea from the very first harvest of the year. I choose a variety of small production China and Japan green teas, an occasional high elevation black tea, but the style of tea that benefits most from an early harvest is white tea. White peony, or...

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2018 Early Spring Green Needles

Doug Palas 2018 China earlyspring green tea Hubei mingqian

2018 Early Spring Green Needles

China celebrates the Qing Ming festival on April 5th to honor the passing of friends and relatives. For tea growers it represents the deadline for the first harvest of the year. Tea harvested before April 5th is called Ming Qian or Pre-Qing Ming tea. Kilogram designates the earliest harvested tea as “Early Spring” since some tea won’t make the April 5th harvest deadline, but will still have the Ming Qian quality.Harvesting early is important for several reasons- tea plants are harvested several times a year, but allowing the leaves a long layoff during the winter will create healthy, nutrient-rich and...

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2017 Iron Goddess of Mercy

Doug Palas 2017 China High Mountain Hubei oolong tea

2017 Iron Goddess of Mercy

Iron Goddess of Mercy is one of the most recognizable types of oolong - the name alone makes it memorable. Unfortunately its legacy is being tarnished to the point that tea producers of Iron Goddess from just a few decades wouldn’t be able to recognize the transformation in flavor that it has undergone in such a short period of time.  Tie quan yin, or Iron Goddess of Mercy is both a cultivar and tea process. Many different legends tell of the origin, but it’s widely accepted the tie quan yin cultivar first appeared in Anxi County in Fujian, China. Iron...

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