Our village partners harvest our teas entirely by hand, with one farmer collecting up to 50kg per week from the all natural terraces and 10kg per week from the ancient tea gardens. To properly harvest the tea means choosing the freshest shoots on the branch and carefully taking the two newest leaves and the bud without damaging them. The tea leaves are responsible for the stronger flavors in the final tea liquor, while the buds add much of the delicate complexities which are only present in high quality teas.
To this point, all true teas (non-herbal) are still the same. The refining techniques that follow are what differentiates the raw tea into the Green, Black, and Jasmine varieties that we carry.
Turning raw Camellia sinensis leaves and buds into the many delicious varieties of tea requires various processing steps, done correctly and in the right order for each specific tea. Our teas are carefully processed by seasoned tea experts who use traditional Chinese methods to bring out the right qualities and best flavors in our finished teas.
Pearl Green Tea
Green teas require very little processing. This lack of alteration is one of the big reasons that quality green teas retain so many natural tea compounds, which translate into well documented health benefits for regular green tea drinkers. After being harvested, the farmer allows our Pearl Green tea to wither in the open air. Next the tea is pan-fired in large woks, a very traditional Chinese method for heating. This heating stage is done quickly before the tea has been able to oxidize, locking in many natural components. The tea then goes through a second drying stage which results in our fresh, all natural Pearl Green.
Blooming Jasmine Tea
Our Blooming Jasmine tea uses premium green tea as it’s base, so the processing and health benefits are very similar. The extra production steps come after the tea has been heated. The leaves and buds are then blended with fresh jasmine flowers and allowed to absorb the delightful jasmine flavors. The properly infused tea is then all dried together to produce our captivating Blooming Jasmine!
Yunnan Gold Black Tea
While green tea is referred to as “unoxidized,” black teas (or red teas, as they’re known in China) undergo a complete oxidation. This process draws out the complex, full-bodied flavors which are widely associated with top quality black teas.
After being hand picked, our Yunnan Gold black tea first goes through an initial open air withering stage outside near the farmer's home. Then, to properly oxidize the tea, the leaves are brought into special climate controlled rooms where they are spread out and exposed to the air for several hours, allowing them to oxidize. The leaves are then thoroughly heated to stop this oxidation, and are carefully rolled to become our delicious and full-flavored Yunnan Gold!