Origin: Hou Gang Village, Anhui, China Cultivar: Shi Da Cha Zhong Harvest: April 15-30, 2018 Picking Standard: 1 bud with 2-3 open leaves Tea Master: Wang Fang Sheng
Invented in the early 20th century in the town of Tai Ping, this unique green tea is as striking to taste as it is to look at. The flavor is bright, fresh and green with a sweet, slightly floral flavor. The leaves retain their characteristic flat shape even after multiple infusions; brew in a tall vessel to fully appreciate the beautiful leaf shape.
Here is a brief description of how this tea is processed:
Initial pan-firing occurs soon after picking to prevent leaves from darkening or browning.
A second pan-firing occurs over a lower temperature with tea makers manually squeezing the leaves and buds together.
Over the course of about an hour, the tea leaves are moved through a series of four wooden boxes heated by charcoal, each slightly cooler than the last. This removes much of the moisture.
Processors then lay out the leaves in a manual press layered between steel screens. This gives the leaves their characteristic flat shape and texture.
After shaping, the leaves are roasted one final time to remove even more moisture.
Before the tea is considered finished, the processors wrap it in cloth or paper inside of a ceramic vessel with limestone and bamboo leaves at the bottom. The limestone wicks any remaining moisture to fully stabilize the leaves for storage. It is thought that the bamboo leaf padding imparts a subtle flavor of the region's bamboo forest.