Chinese Tea Gift Selection
Brewed with water at 90 Degrees, let the flower unfurl do not remove flower. This is can be steeped a number of times.
China is the home of Tea. Here, over 5,000 years ago, the future of all the Teas in this pack (as well as all Teas, period!) became a reality. Our Chinese Tea Gift Selection showcases some of the best, some of the finest, and some of the most loved Teas available in the world.
This is arguably the most famous China Black Tea. Its name comes from an archaic English spelling of Qimen, which is a county in the Anhui province. Today, only producers in Qimen can make Keemun Tea.
It first arrived in 1875, thanks to a former Chinese civil servant named Yu Ganchen. According to the story, Yu Ganchen had not long lost his job. In his humiliation, he decided to discover the secrets of Black Tea production to restore his reputation.
Yu visited the Fujian province during his quest, eventually returning to Qimen to establish three Tea factories. Before 1875, Anhui produced only Green Tea. Yu Ganchen, however, changed the provincial industry forever. Indeed, Qimen hasn't looked back since.
Many describe Keemun Tea has mellow in taste, while slightly floral or even smokey in aroma. Like all Black Teas, this beverage contains theaflavin and thearubigin. These two beneficial antioxidants can combat free radicals in the body.
Lapsang Souchong Tea
Historians believe that Lapsang Souchong was the first Black Tea ever made! Its name is twofold. "Lapsang" comes from the village of Tong Mu Guan, the original home of this Tea in the Fujian province. It means "smoky variety". "Souchong", on the other hand, refers to the fourth or fifth leaf used from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant when making Lapsang Tea.
According to legend, a group of bandits one day descended upon a group of farmers in Tong Mu Guan during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912 CE). They intended to steal the farmers' crop. These bandits told the farmers to have the Tea ready by the time they returned. However, the farmers were not willing to give up so easily.
They harvested the Tea quickly. Then, they dried it over pinewood fires to speed up oxidation. The result was a "smoked Tea". At first, the farmers grew disheartened, believing they had ruined it. But they persevered and reluctantly packed the Tea for transport to the market.
At the port, a group of Dutch traders approached the farmers wishing to sample their Tea. As the farmers stood in silence, expecting the worst, the traders looked up from their first sips - they loved it! Lapsang Souchong was born - or so the story goes.
Lapsang Souchong has a distinct smokiness with every sip, combined with malty undertones. It was once a favourite of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), perhaps because of its resemblance to his much-loved cigars!
The Yunnan province in southwest China has long produced both Black and Green Tea. It borders the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi and, debatably, Tibet. It also neighbours Burma, Laos and Vietnam. This geographic location, as well as its climatic conditions, contribute significantly to the exceptional tastes of Yunnan Black Tea.
The history of Yunnan Black Tea began with a journey - literally. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), Yunnan became a possible location for Black Tea production. This was because many Tea-growing provinces in the southeast had become war zones. China needed to maintain its Black Tea market, and Yunnan was the answer.
Feng Shao Qi, of the China Tea Corporation, embarked on a journey to Yunnan to investigate its economic potential. He travelled with his colleague, Zheng Hechun, arriving in the city of Kunming in October 1938. They then took a three-day steam train to Xiaguan. From there, they walked almost fifteen days across treacherous mountain ranges and sections of the Mekong river.
By November, the two arrived in Shunning (present-day Fengqing). They collected samples and, astoundingly, made their way back! The following month, the Yunnan Tea Trading Corporation opened its doors. From 1939 to 1941, the Shunning Experimental Tea Factory produced 110 tonnes of gongfu Yunnan Black Tea.
Today, Yunnan Tea has a distinct woody aroma with smoky undertones. These qualities transcend in taste, offering smooth, malty flavours with subtle chocolate notes. This beverage, like Keemun Tea, like Lapsang Souchong, can also support healthy living in a variety of ways.
This Tea is the fusion of two of the greatest ingredients: Green Tea and Jasmine Flowers. They make a match made in heaven as one will soon discover with our wonderfully aromatic and harmonising Jasmine Tea.
The Jasmine Flower (botanically known as Jasminum) has many subspecies. This includes Jasminum officinale (summer Jasmine); Jasminum nudiflorum (winter Jasmine); Jasminum angustifolium; Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum tortuosum. This is to name but a few of the estimated two hundred sub-species! Almost all of them, however, have one thing in common: their fragrance.
In the early afternoons of June, July and August, experienced and dutiful labourers carefully hand-pick the jasmine buds when the sun is out, and the dew has evaporated. The pickers are very explicit as to which buds they select for the next stage. This is because only those due to bloom that same evening should make the cut.
Once at the factory, the workers store the thousands of jasmine buds in a dry place until night. At this point, they blossom, which releases their mesmerising signature scent. The workers then place the jasmine blossoms in basket trays and layer them over Tea leaves. After some hours, these Tea leaves absorb the fragrance and distinct flavour of Jasmine.
The finished product is, quite simply, exquisite. It offers delightfully floral notes accompanied by trademark grassy notes of Green Tea.
Chinese Oolong has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many see it as the "in-between" Tea because of the processing method applied to it. In other words, it's not quite Green Tea, and it's not quite Black Tea. Instead, it sits in the middle!
A mystery surrounds the origins of Oolong Tea. Some believe it started as a Tribute Tea during the Song dynasty (906-1279 CE). Others think it came from the Wuyi mountains in the Fujian province during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 CE).
Another legend tells the story of a farmer who one day found himself confronted by a poisonous serpent while tending to his Tea crop. He made a hasty retreat, dropping a basket of harvested Tea leaves in the process. When the farmer returned the following day, he found that the leaves in his basket had begun to oxidise, creating a Tea type never before seen at the time.
Intrigued, the farmer brewed the Tea and tried it. The result was unexpected, yet delicious. And eventually, the Tea was named in honour of the snake that led to its creation: Wu Long, meaning Black Dragon. In time, Wu Long became Oolong.
The fact of the matter is that we'll likely never know the whole truth. But that doesn't change the remarkable flavour and aroma of our Oolong Tea. This beverage has bold, earthy notes with grassy undertones. It is delectable from start to finish.