Black Teas

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    Kukicha

    $10.00

    2oz. $6.00
    Roasted Japanese tea composed of the stalk, stem and twigs of the tea plant. The infusion is sweet, creamy and nutty.

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    Licorice Spice Herbal Tea

    $12.00

    2oz. $6.00
    An Organic blend of Licorice, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Ginger. A fragrant and cozy non-caffeine pick me up.

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    Matcha-Iri-Genmaicha

    $10.00

    2oz. $6.50
    Organic steamed Japanese Sencha Green with puffed toasted rice blended with powdered Matcha tea. A thick emerald-green brew has a strong aroma and is packed with satisfying flavor, high antioxidants and long lasting energy boost.

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    Organic Blackberry-Basil Green Tea Blend

    $9.00

    2oz. $6.00
    Aromatic, comforting blend of organic Japanese Sencha with subtle essences of blackberry and basil.

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    Organic Evening Star

    $20.00

    2oz. $6.00
    This caffeine-free Chai contains Red Rooibos tea blended with Cardamom, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove and Vanilla Bean.

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    Organic Green Pomegranate Tea

    $11.00

    2oz. $5.50
    Sencha-style organic green tea wait essence of pomegranate and raspberries. Light, refreshing and fruity!

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    Organic Gunpowder Green

    $6.00

    2oz. $6.00
    Fine China green tea, painstakingly proceed into pearls?. Rich flavor, balanced pungency and smoky tones.

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    Organic Rosehips and Hibiscus

    $10.00

    2oz. $5.50
    Ruby-red non-caffeine herbal blend, chock full of Vitamin C! This beautiful and refreshing duo makes a fruity, sweet-tart drink that is equally nice as a hot or cold beverage.

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    Peru Cecovasa

    $8.00

    $12.50 per pound
    Medium Dark Roast with notes ranging from Citric to Lemon or Lime.

Showing all 9 results

The worlds largest tea producing country is at the same time one of the most interesting. The many mountain provinces of central and south China are the origins of countless green and black teas. The province of Yunnan is believed to be the birth place of tea. Yunnan ( meaning “South of the Clouds) is a province that has been producing tea for nearly 1700 years. Previous to 1939 almost all cultivation was to make green tea. The Yun in Yunnan means “cloud” as most teas in Yunnan are grown at misty mountainous elevations of 3000 to 7000ft above sea level. It is also the home to our Yunnan Pure Gold. Yunnan province’s first ever black tea was first created in 1938 using the best quality tea leaves from Fengquing county. The leaves are almost entirely made up of perfect new growth leaves and have a soft golden hue. The infusion is a amber, yellow color that is exceptionally smooth and delicate with a sweet malt flavor.

In Yunnan the aboriginal tea tree has a history of 2,100 years of human use (according to the Dai documents of Xishuanbanna). There is a tree on Nannuo Mountain that is 800 years old and is still producing leaves. It is 32.1 meters high with a diameter of 1.03 meters. It is called the “King of tea trees”. The Hani people of the 560 household Nannuo village are decendants from a branch of the ancient Qiang people, a nomadic tribe from the Quinghai-Tibet plateau. They are famous in Xishuangbanna for their abilities in harvesting and producing Pu-erh style of tea.
Pu-erh means two things. First it is a country located in the Yunnan province of China and the traditional area of distribution of the style of tea we now know as “Pu-erh.”
According to records in China the ethnic Pu people in Yunnan began to produce tea as tribute to the emperors as early as the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. In the song dynasty pu-erh county became an important market for tea trading with the Tibetans for the famous horses of that country. It was the logistics of transportation via these horse trails that inspired merchants to start compressing tea into cakes. It was easier to store and they were able to get more packed onto each horse. The journey to prospective tea buyers was long and tea went through a natural aging process while on these roads . Along these trade routes and beyond a taste was acquired for this special aged flavor, contributing to it’s surviving into modern times where transportation is no longer an issue.
Recently we have learned that there is much microbial activity that goes on during the aging process. These micro organisms include aspergillus niger, asperigillus clautus, asperigillus glaucus, rhizopus chinehsis, lactobacillus thermophilus and various yeasts, ect.
The beneficial microbes created help to build the taste qualities of Pu-erh.
The Yunnan Kumming tea factory invented an oxidation step in 1972 that was intended to simulate the taste of aged Pu-erh. In this step called “Wo Dui” (Moist Track) the still moist leaves are heaped into piles where a process similar to composting occurs. The leaves are then dried and pressed into cakes. This tea is now called “cooked” (shu) Pu-erh or black Pu-erh, as opposed to the “raw” (sheng) or green Pu-Erh.
The process for making traditional pu-erh tea is ancient and has varied little over time. The leaves are picked by hand from very old trees. True Pu-erh is from the wild trees in the prefecture Xishuanbanna and parts of Simao and Lincang prefectures (see map “A”). These old growth tea forests are self sustaining, biodiverse ecosystems that have not been touched by domesticated agriculture. Once these leaves are harvested they are then sorted to remove broken, withered or oxidized ones. These leaves are then heated on a hot metal surface to halt further oxidation from enzymic action. After this the leaves are withered in the sun or hot air until 90% of the moisture is removed. After this point the tea is sorted again and given a classification of 10 different grades ( traditionally grades 3 and lower were used for tea cake, with higher grades separated for royalty). Once graded, these leaves are then steamed to soften them and put into forms and compressed to be then put up for storage. Since Pu-erh improves with age due to continued oxidation you want to store this tea from one year to twenty years. In order to do this you want relatively low humidity to prevent undesirable molds from forming. 70% humidity is a good target. The oxidation process also requires oxygen, (do not store in a plastic bag) so store Pu-erh in a dry cabinet away from strong odors that will ruin a tea. The result is a very fragrant tea with a mellow yet long lasting flavor and a honey like sweet aftertaste.

Pu-erh has been touted a curative for a very long time. Many of the medicinal effects are thought to be attributed to the various microbes found in the tea during the processing and in the tea itself. The tea has been found to be highly effective in reducing cholesterol levels.
In tests at the Kumming University in China, 86 people were given daily servings of Yunnan toucha tea for two months and results were similar to those associated with most common western drugs for lowering blood cholesterol. In France Professor Bernard Jacotot of Henri-Mondor hospital treated 20 people with 3 servings of Yunnan toucha a day and came up with similar results. These results were not duplicated with other forms of tea.
Yet another study introduced by the department of internal medicine at Kumming Medical college in China, found that when a group of 55 patients with high cholesterol levels were given 15 grams of Yunnan Toucha a day, very similar results in reduction of blood cholesterol levels were seen when compared to treatment from the drug Atromid-S, Clofibrate Ethyl P- Cholorophenoxy- Isobutygrate also called PCIB (a drug used in western medicine to reduce cholesterol.)

One of the benefits of Pu-erh drinking that has been known for many years but has just recently come to light in the media (including a recent spot on Oprah) is the tested use of the tea to aid in weight loss. In one study, 350 people were given Pu-erh three times a day with the result of 299 experiencing weight loss in the first month.

The Sichuan Province (a shortened name meaning “Four circuits of rivers and gorges) has also been called the province of abundance due to it’s rich agricultural land. It is also home to our Sichuan Gongfu. This tea is exceptional as it is produced from very fine downy tea buds, a rarity in black tea production where usually no buds are used at all Produced in the Sichuan Province of China these dark, golden buds are all approximately 5 millimeters in length and produce a dark amber liquor. Not only is this infusion smooth and rich, but the finish is reminiscent of chocolate. Milk actually brings out the characteristics of this tea.

Sichuan Province is also the location of Mount E Mei. Literally translated as “Towering Eyebrow Mountain” it is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1n 1996.

10,167 feet high it is the source of our E Mei E Rui. According to Chinese legend, E Rui was a Goddess and one of the keepers of the Immortals tea garden on mount E Mei in the Sichuan Province of China. This tea is named after her as it is believed that the tea plants were grown from a magical tea seed that was left by the goddess when a humble farmer stumbled upon the garden. It vanished instantly but the seeds remained. The farmer knew it was a gift of the heavens, so he took the seed back to his farm and planted them. After a time these seeds grew to tea plants which yielded the most wonderful tea he had ever known. And so he named the tea E Mei E Rui. The tea buds are almost completely covered with white down. When steeped these leaves slowly unfurl and dance within the water. The resulting infusion has a creamy fragrance and refreshingly light taste with slight nutty undertones.

The Fujian province, in the southeast part of the country is another interesting tea province. The name is a combination of two cities in the province, both Fuzhou and Jianou. In this province on the northern side is the famous mountain area of Wu Yi. Wu Yi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mid nineties as well, known for it’s outstanding scenery. Rich in nutrients due to it’s narrow river valley and high humidity it is also an outstanding tea growing area. A Wu Yi travel brochure states “one will be calm and feel moist in the throat and sweet between the teeth. It’s a great pleasure to travel and drink the famous tea in the Wu Yi mount.”

One truly unique tea of this mountain is our Traditional Da Hong Pao (Traditional Big Red Robe). The three trees that are the ancestors of this tea are still clinging wild to the peak area of Mount Wu Yi to this day and are considered irreplaceable. Legend claims that the Imperial officer stationed to oversee the picking of these outstanding trees became so enamored with the tea that he tore of his official red robe and hung it on one of the trees to join in the picking himself. Big Red Robe s kept wild, and so never watered. Because of this the teas character changes from year to year due to weather patterns and mineral content. This special tea is fully hand processed using traditional methods passed down through many generations to the Ge family, who produces it today. The leaves are long, dark and slightly curled. During infusion a slight, coffee like fragrance is released, a prelude to the strong character of this tea. The first sip will remind the drinker of black coffee, but will then give way to a pleasantly sweet character that is reminiscent of fruit.

The Zhejiang province, which translates to “crooked river” due to the old name for the Qiantang river that passes through the province, is the home to another of our outstanding teas. Yang Yan Green Hook is a truly outstanding green tea that originates from the Yang Yan mountains in Lin Hai City of the Zhejiang province. This tea is very rare and yearly production is small and was recently entitled “Jian Nan Di Yi Gou Quing Cha” (Southern Chinas top green hook tea). Like it’s name, the small, downy leaves have a special hook like appearance that unfurl to perfect bright green flushes when brewed. The infusion is highly aromatic with a delicate sweet taste that is fresh in the mouth. An outstanding tea that rivals anything coming out of China today.