2 oz (57g) makes 60+ cups, 20 cents per cup
Ingredients: Organic White Tea Leaves
Name: Bai Lin Kung Fu Classic Red Tea (Ju Hong, Hong Cha)
Varietal: Da Bai, Da Hao
Hearty and flavorful, this tea brews a complex flavor, crisp finish and brews a deep traditional red tea hue. This tea is harvested from a white tea varietal, which offers a smooth finish to a fermented tea.
- Rich, malty aroma.
- Early brews exhibit nutty sweetness, later steepings bring toastiness into focus.
- Robust, thick body.
First and second flush
In early spring, the bud and first leaves of the tea plant are hand-plucked while still tender. If chewed raw, the young leaves have a clean and lightly bitter taste with a sweet finish, and almost immediately creates a refreshing moisture in the throat.
The tea leaves are spread on cloth to wither for a few hours immediately after they are harvested. When they become soft enough, they are rolled and placed in a cloth-lined bamboo basket. These baskets are placed on shelves lining the walls of a small room, at the center of which is a charcoal stove and a pot of simmering mountain spring water. This arrangement maintains a hot and humid environment in which the buds can oxidize for several hours. During this time, the tea is periodically sampled to observe the color and flavor change, as the day’s weather may affect the pace of the process. Once the tea has reached the proper state, it is removed and shaken to cool and fix.
The Bai Lin Kung Fu Classic is finished over fir and fruit tree charcoal at a medium/high temperature. This slow process maintains the integrity of the young leaves, while the nearly odorless flames from the sweet woods impart a clean aroma.
Shang Tea is the one of the few producers left in the region that still uses a traditional charcoal oven to cure teas. Most farmers have switched to coal-powered processing factories to save time and money, though many will finish small batches for their own collections over charcoal. For Shang Tea, the clean taste of the tea and the sustainable management of the land are worth the expense.