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New teas for Spring ’21

Here at Zerama Tea HQ, we’re excited that warmer weather has begun to appear. Spring means rain and flowers and spinach and cabbage and lettuce and… TEA! Early pluckings have already begun in Yunnan, and the Qing Ming Festival will be happening soon which means that the Spring tea harvest will begin in earnest.

Photo of early tea harvest in Yunnan, China, 2021.
Early tea harvest in Yunnan

We’re thrilled to bring in some new-to-us Chinese tea varieties this year:

Photo of part of the baking process for Liu An Gua Pian tea.

Liu An Gua Pian comes from Jinzhai Town, Lu’An City, Anhui Province. This tea is a single-leaf pluck (unlike most of our Chinese teas which consist of the entire flush, which is the unopened flower bud and its two accompanying leaves) of the Qishangzhong cultivar of Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis. It goes through a complex process of pan-frying (shaqing – the “kill green” process of stopping enzymatic activity in green teas) and charcoal baking in giant bamboo baskets to produce a uniquely visually appealing, sweet and mellow tea.

Our Tai Ping Hou Kui comes from Houkeng (猴坑) village in the Huangshan District (formerly Taiping County) of Anhui Province. This tea is made from full grown leaves of the Shidacha tea cultivar rather than the tender early flush. After pan-frying to stop enzymatic activity in the tea, the leaves are laid out on plates and pressed and flattened under sheets of cotton cloth. The tea is then baked over charcoal and packed in baskets with bamboo-leaf lining. This rare tea has a luscious aroma of orchids and a long-lingering flavor.

We will be featuring Premium grades of Da Hong Pao and Tie Guan Yin for the new year, as well as returning our popular Meng Ding Gan Lu to stock (finally! we’ve missed it). Also arriving: Old Bush Yunnan Black Tea (Lao Cong Dian Hong), Jasmine Snowflake Tea from Guangxi, 200-gram cakes of Aged Yunnan Wild White Tea, Organic Yunnan Green Tea (which you can see being picked in the first photo in this article), and for the smoky-tea lovers out there: high-grade Lapsang Souchong from the place of its origin – Tong Mu village, Wuyi County, Zhejiang.

We expect to have stock in hand by late April and we will be putting up placeholder pages with preliminary pricing over the next few days. We’ll also be getting restocks of teas from Japan, Taiwan, India and Colombia over the next couple of months.

Paula and I sincerely appreciate your patronage of our little establishment. We’re starting to be able to poke our heads out of our hidey-hole and with luck we’ll be having demos and tea gatherings here in KC again soon. We hope that your year is warm and wonderful! Take care of each other out there!

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