Green tea hunting for 2016 is completed, here we proudly present you this years treasures:
- Anji Bai Cha - White green tea from Anji in Zhejiang province, sharp straight needles and a leaf, baked tea.
- Bai Cha - White green tea from Lishui in Zhejiang province, pan fried light green bud and a leaf.
- Bi Luo Chun - traditional green tea from Taihu in Jiangsu province, baked curly and white hairy buds and a leaf.
- Long Jing - the most classic green tea from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, pan fried a bud and a leaf.
- Xiang Cha - classic green tea from Lishui in Zhejiang province, baked green tea of intense fragrance.
- Yellow Mt. Mao Feng - classic green tea from the famous Yellow Mt. of Anhui, tall buds warped in a leaf, baked.
- Zhu Ye Qing - Bamboo green buds from Sichuan, traditionally pan fried, shoots only.
- Yu Ye Jade Leaf - traditional green tea from 1000 Island lake, Hangzhou in Zhejiang, tea completely grown and processed above 1000 meters, pan fried
Another highlight of the famous 7542 recipe of the state owned enterprise CNNP, produced in a Menghai subsidiary in 2002.
This cake offers a decent aged taste, full of complexity and still good bitterness before its sweet aftertaste. A great tea for enjoying today and plenty aging potential, but for a reasonable price. The Tong's stored in Hangzhou at the local CNNP distributor since 2003.
At the remote western ridge of Yunnan' Wuliang Mountain range (Jingdong, Puer) at an altitude above 2.100m a group of big trees grown at lower slopes of Mt. Fengguan 风冠山. In 2012 we tasted some different Maocha from Fengguan, from some young plantations ( Taidi) and those tree like century old tea trees, where we bought two sample bags, each good 5kg.
After storage in Hangzhou for more than 3 years, we finally bought our own high pressure steamer and manual pressing machine to form those 100g cakes for us and of course we proudly share them with you.
We enjoyed the Maocha now again and where stunned of its quite quick development, especially the soup color became copper and got pretty thick texture while tastes scores due its complexity, combining bitterness and fine sweetness. It's a northern Yunnan raw tea, definitely different to comparable southern Dashu or any other Menghai Pu-erh tea.
At the south eastern edge of Bulang mountains we found a decent big tea tree forest next to Padian village. Traditionally cultivated by Bulang people tastes this Dashu puer characteristically strong bitterness and powerful Qi.
Over the last three years the tea developed towards less "aggression", but still today is comparable to a wild horse. Of our 5kg sample we shared with my colleagues from a Hangzhounese teahouse.
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What is this site all about and how stay connected?
Cha-Shifu's mission connects tea drinkers and tea farmers or ceramic masters, through a direct e-commerce platform.
Providing professionals a place to share their story on tea culture with an global audience of tea lovers.
Cha-shifu promotes premium tea and crafted accessories from its origin, enabling authentic tea sessions with original taste and even sourcing support for proffessionals of one of the oldest beverages.
How do we taste and what is the taste of tea at all?
Taste or gustatory perception is one of the five traditional senses and we perceive with small taste buds on our tongue sensory impression of five basic tastes.
Taste of tea in the sense of beverage from poured water over dried leaves or buds of camellia sinensis varies greatly, common tastes are a bit bitter, slightly sweet and enjoyable umami.
Fresh tea leaves contain between 25-35% of Phenols, mainly Epigallocatechin Gallate EGCG, a potent antioxidant, which provides green tea bitterness, whereas in black tea more tannins contains leading to its typical silky astringency. Tea of old trees absorb minerals from tree's deep roots and therefore we perceive slightly salty taste.
Which qualities of tea we taste and how we classify them?
Out of basic tastes, further sensations can be defined like astringency, camphor, floral and others. Actually we taste not exclusively by our mouth, rather using a set of sensory impressions like texture, fragrance, temperature and appearance.
The interaction of these impressions while tasting tea, reminds us of enjoying a drupe, nuts, smokey bacon - you name it.
To make interactive impressions of different teas sessions comparable, wine enthusiasts developed a recognized tool, a so called "Aroma Wheel of Wine".
We have derived an equivalent for tea sessions and tried it many times with our portfolio and confirm - yes it let us easily describe tea session to one another.
In a further step we developed three basic questions, answer them by ticking your taste expectations and as a query result get a short list of suitable teas out of Cha-Shifu's selection.
Are you interested in Chinese tea or do you want to deepen your way of tea?
Helping you to explore your “Chádào - Way of tea”, we selected a starter box, comprising of 6 samples from traditional Chinese tea and useful tools. Each sample is enough to experience 3 or 4 tea sessions and will provide you a profound access to Chinese tea. For successful tea preparation following the authentic "Gongfu" or two pots method, an easy to use tool set completes "Introduction to Chinese tea".
In a second step further selections will provide you a profound taste understanding of:
- High Mountain garden Raw Pu-erh vs. Plantation tea of Menghai
- Dark and Ripe Pu-erh vs. Chinese Red tea or Westerners Black tea
- Green tea vs. White and Yellow tea
- The three groups of Chinese Oolong tea
- The 12 Classic blends recipes of Menghai tea factory by Dayi
- Ripeness from fresh to semi-aged to aged Pu-erh tea
What teas Cha-Shifu offers and which one fits my taste best?
Our expertise comprises of premium tea from the origin of tea in today's Yunnan and all over China. All kind of tea grow from Camellia Sinensis, its processing makes the difference.
When it comes to choose the right teapot for releasing the flavor of a kind or group of tea leaves in an optimized way, you should be clear about:
- For how many people, I make tea normally - size?
- For which kind of tea I'm searching a teapot - shape, surface?
Typically different materials influence the taste of tea. A tea taster uses a porcelain set for comparing different teas, because of porcelaine smooth surface taste won't be influenced.
Where does tea comes from and who cultivates tea?
The tea plant Camellia sinensis was found in today's Southwest China, Yunnan province and its neighboring regions of Northeast Myanmar as well as Indias Assam region, Camellia sinensis var assamica. Today there are still some wild tea forests in Yunnan, Camellia taliensis, but the vast majority of tea is cultivated in gardens in China south of Yellow River, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey to name the top 5 producers.
Particular in Yunnan, Pu'er tea is cultivated by minorities of Dai, Bulang and Hani, whereas in rest of Chinas tea gardens with its Green, Red (Black), Yellow, White and Oolong tea plantations are cultivated by Han people.