Tea is deeply woven into the history and culture of China - in fact it is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. Chinese tea can be classified into six distinctive categories: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and post-fermented. All of these teas are made from varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant - it is the different processing methods rather than the ingredients which make these teas so distinctive.
Most notable among Chinese teas are the Keemums, the Yunnans and the Lapsang Souchongs. We stock top versions of all of these tea types.
Green tea is the most commonly drunk tea in China. For an excellent introduction into the world of Chinese green teas we can recommend our Green Mao Feng ‘Long March’; with a delightful lemon-colored cup it is tender and soft in taste yet very aromatic.
Another superb example of high-end Chinese tea production is the Ti Guan Iron Buddha oolong tea. Oolong tea is semi fermented, which is one of the reasons it has such a unique character. The semi fermentation gives the tea a little bit more body than a green tea but less body than a black tea. You will see (particularly in the infused leaf) that the edges of the leaves are slightly bruised (brownish) - this bruising begins the oxidation process.There are several grades of Ti Kuan Yin and Iron Buddha is an absolute premium grade.
For a truly unusual tea take a look at our Pu-erh Tuo Cha - one of the few teas to be designated a protected origin product by the Chinese government and has gained a cult status among elite Chinese tea connoisseurs. Pu-erh, which is processed in a special way to encourage microbial fermentation after the leaves are dried, ages more dynamically than any tea out there, resulting in an quite extraordinary tea. The Tuo-cha are small dome-shaped tea 'cakes' that are wrapped in paper. They have an earthy and peaty aroma. Very special.
For those who prefer less caffeine we have our Sencha Grade A tea - the dark olive colour of the infusion indicating that only the middle leaf shoots - which naturally contain less caffeine - have been used in production; the taste is soft, mild and delicious.
Among our extensive collection you will also find the seductively smoky Bohea Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon tea as well as organic teas and teas flavoured in the traditional way with essentials oils. We have several Chinese Earl Grey varieties as well as the famous gunpowder tea - names after the hand-rolled black pearls of tea which unfurl into a beatiful, chocolatey and aromatic brew.