(It's not so much a secret if we tell you about it...)
More and more of you have been discovering the magic of Gong Fu tea at the shop. We highlight 4 Gong Fu teas each season in our Seasonal Highlights menu, and we have several more in our full catalog. But some of you have inquired about further options to explore, seeking out very specific or rare teas. We are happy to oblige!
These are teas that we enjoy ourselves for special occasions, but we aren’t able to get them in enough quantity to sell loose or to list on the menu. But if you’re looking to take the next step in your tea journey, try a Gong Fu session with our Private Collection Teas:
Braided Sheng Pu-erh
This one of a kind tea is produced by the Jingpo people - an indigenous tribe spanning parts of China, India and Myanmar. Grown in Yunnan, this raw (or ‘sheng’) Pu-erh was picked in 2017, making it relatively ‘young’ and less fermented. While the leaves themselves are young, they were picked from ancient tea ‘trees’ - tea bushes that have grown wild for over 100 years, resembling tall trees that can still be harvested. After drying, the leaves are braided in bundles by this women-owned company, a style that has been done by hand for generations.
This luxurious tea has all the characteristics common to a Ripe Pu-erh: rich, savory flavor, mildly earthy and grounding. In addition, it’s silky texture is soothing on the throat. The benefit of the “ripening” process is that you don’t have to wait years for the fermentation to happen, but some Ripe Pu-erhs also get better with age. These leaves were picked in 2003 in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, pressed into a small brick and now ready for you to enjoy.
Anji Bai Cha
This very rare tea from Anji county in Zhejiang, China is made from a cultivar of camellia sinensis only discovered in 1982. Although it’s name literally means “white tea from Anji”, this delicate tea is processed as a Green Tea - it’s name comes from the near-white buds unique to this cultivar. They maintain this color only for a very short Spring harvest lasting one month. The resulting tea has a toasted chestnut flavor, a creamy texture and a relaxing energy. We brew this tea in a glass pitcher in order to highlight the bright yellow-green leaves as they dance.
Class of ‘93
For those looking for a truly special tea, curious about the original slow fermentation that made Pu-erh famous, we offer this rare treat: a “raw” Sheng Pu-erh, aged for 30 years in semi-dry conditions, resulting in a robust, but perfectly smooth fermentation. The twist? This tea is not actually from Yunnan, but from Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, that shares the same tea forest. If you have some experience with Pu-erh tea, you may notice the cha qi - “tea energy” - from the first sip of this tea.
These teas have limited availability, and we bring in other options from time to time. We'll be adding Gyokuro "shin cha" (the first pick of the season) in time for Summer.