Tea Master Combo Box: Sister Ai's Best of Qianjiazhai Mountain
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WHAT IS THE TEA MASTER SERIES?
A Note from Jesse
Hello Tea Friends!
This summer I got to go way into the wilds of Yunnan, to the tea village of Qianjiazhai where Sister Ai's tea farm has tea trees over 1000 years old!
Sister Ai is the god-daughter of my friend Jia Laoshi, a tea expert and author who writes for "Chinese Tea Person" 中华茶人 magazine.
A third-generation tea farmer, Sister Ai picks tea from wild tea trees in the primordial forests of Yunnan that are closed to all traffic except for the locals. All the teas in this Master Box come from Qianjiazhai mountain.
The Tea Master Series boxes is a collaboration between Sister Ai and me - we tried many single-source teas from her mountain and selected these teas for their quality, taste, purity, and value.
Each box contains four exceptional teas:
(Total: 30-40 tea sessions, 150+ 8 oz. cups of tea)
About The Teas:
This tea is a true gem: picked from the oldest of the wild trees on Qianjiazhai mountain.
These trees are so massive and inaccessible the farmers need to hike up the mountain and climb the trees in order to access the leaves.
The primordial forest is on national park land, and only the local people are allowed to enter. It is the purest source of tea, completely unpolluted, and as such the tea has a remarkably unique clarity of color and flavor.
The fragrance is fruity and bright. The flavor is juicy and fruity, with fantastic sweetness and clarity. The tea color is a crystal clear gold. The taste has high, medium and low flavors which combine to create a comforting, warming, and pure tea-drinking experience.
This is just about the highest quality tea you can get outside of China. Enjoy!
If you come to Yunnan, you must try the Sheng (or raw) pu’er tea that made this tea region famous. The leaves are picked by hand from wild trees 200-300 years old inside a protected primordial forest, then withered, heat-treated over a giant wood-fired wok, rolled, and dried before being pressed into cakes for easy storage.
This raw pu’er has a lovely old forest smell, and the tea liquor is clear in the first steeps, and gets gradually more gold as it opens. The taste is fresh and bright, with a small astringency balanced nicely by sweetness and elements of lemon and mint.
True Raw Pu’er fans can consider buying a few extra cakes to age, allowing this sheng tea to truly amaze in years to come.
Shou, or “cooked” pu’er, is created by taking pu’er leaves and allowing them to rapidly ferment in a process known as “wet piling.”
Royal Pu’er is created by choosing just the buds of the leaves, for increased fragrance. Tea leaves from Qianjiazhai mountain are piled for 2-3 months to rapidly oxidize the tea, then dried and aged to increase the depth of flavor.
It has a dark, deep, complex flavor with an exceptionally smooth mouth feel, traces of sticky-rice and dried date. This tea has no trace at all of any “fishy” smell caused by lower-quality leaves and poor wet piling.
Note: The pictures for this item show a "chocolate bar" version of the tea, but the final version of ours will be a mini-cake.
Tea Resin is basically condensed, “ready to drink” tea in pellet form that dissolves within about a minute to create a strong, smooth, and complex-flavored pitcher of tea.
Tea Resin is created by boiling tea leaves and filtering the tea 10 times through a series of fine mesh filters. The resulting crystal-clear tea liquid has no solids left in it. This filtered tea essence is then reduced to a thick paste which is shaped into pellets and dried solid.
The resin can then be dissolved anytime in a mug or pitcher, creating a strong, deep brew with notes of chocolate and dried date, along with a distinctive woody aftertaste which shows its true identity as ancient tree tea.
Originally created for Chinese medicinal purposes, tea resin is the best way to drink high quality tea with no preparation or equipment needed. It’s even simpler than a tea bag, since it dissolves to nothing in the cup with no waste.
Each tiny tea resin pellet can brew 16 ounces of concentrated tea which can drunk straight or cut with hot water to taste, creating several mug’s worth of tea.
This tea resin comes from wild tea trees on Qianjiazhai mountain, fermented into shou, or “cooked” pu’er tea, and then converted into tea resin.
This is perfect for coffee lovers who want strong, bold flavor out of a big cup without needing to worry about steep times or temperatures.