Tuesday, June 08, 2010

YiXing Government Will Resume Purple Clay Mining Soon

YiXing is famous for its Zi Sha (Purple Clay) wares. To protect limited Purple Clay resource, YiXing government banned Purple Clay mining in 2005. Although many real Purple Clay wares on the market now are made from Purple Clay mined prior to the ban, many cheap Purple Clay products are made from faked clays.

YiXing government announced recently that it will lift the mining ban by end of this month. This no doubt is a good news to Purple Clay collectors. According to recent news, actual mining location and quantity will be decided after necessary assessment.


Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Spring Tea Update

2010 is no doubt a challenging year for Chinese spring tea production. By estimate, spring tea production in Yunnan will experience 50% reduction due to the extreme draught condition. Recent news reported that 90% tea plantations in Yunnan are impacted by the draught. And the cold weather had delayed West Lake Long Jing harvest to late March, and production level is expected to be down. Bi Luo Chun harvest was also delayed by the cold weather. Down south, the cold weather also cost FuJian tea industry dearly. FuJian is the production region of black tea, white tea, and oolong tea. The cold weather not only caused delay of spring tea harvest, also impacted quality.

We will post updates as new teas become available.



Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making Hong Pao Black Tea

How does the idea of mixing up Da Hong Pao with Yunnan Black sound? I came across this idea few weeks ago, and the blended tea turn out to be a blessing.

I mixed up our Heavily Roasted Da Hong Pao with Yunnan Black at 2:1 ratio, quickly rinsed the leaves then let them brew for 45 seconds. At first sipping, the familiar aroma of heavily roasted Da Hong Pao was prominent - toasty with osmanthus aroma dancing at back of the throat. The taste was soft, mellow, and sweet. The heavy rock mouth feeling of Da Hong Pao was balanced out by the softness and smoothness of Yunnna Black. What a pleasant surprise!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

West Lake Tea Farmers Grow Back Long Jing Varietal Trees

According to recent news from West Lake, local farmers started to grow back Long Jing Varietal trees last year. Long Jing Varietal is traditional Long Jing tea tree. Long Jing #43 tea tree was introduced in 1970s, and gained popularity among tea farmers due to its early harvest time, which in turn translate into higher profit. There was a period that many West Lake tea farmers cut down their Long Jing Varietal trees to grow Long Jing #43.

Although Long Jing made from Long Jing Varietal and Long Jing #43 share many common characters, they also have some differences. Many long time Long Jing drinkers prefer the taste of Long Jing Varietal.

It is estimated that about 90% of Long Jing trees in West Lake area will be Long Jing Varietal by end of this year. Although Long Jing #43 may start harvest in early March, Long Jing Varietal harvest normally starts around late March. This dramatically cut short Pre-Ming production period. People are anticipating a price increase of this year's Long Jing production.