|Country of Origin:
||Fujian Province - Wuyi Mountains Region
||2500 - 5000 feet above sea level
||Handmade special snow buds
||Streamed green tea and handmade snow buds
||Very light liquoring with exquisite fresh green tea character.
||The leaves virtually return to life and are emerald green
The method of manufacture of this tea is quite
interesting. The bud and the first leaf of new shoots of the tea bush are hand
picked during the last two weeks of March and the first week of April. Only
certain tea bushes grow the leaf that is required for this tea. [On a tea estate
there are thousands of tea bushes so it is necessary to maintain accurate
records for the location of these special bushes.] The leaves are plucked
between 3:30: am and 7:00 am when the dew is heavy on the leaves. These leaves
are rushed to the tea factory where they are re-sorted and hand rolled
ever so slightly. The leaves are then immediately steamed to capture the cool
and crisp pre-dawn taste of green tea. Note that some of the leaves are covered
with a ‘white down’. This signifies new, fresh and pure - characteristics
that are held in high regards by those striving for the ultimate in tea quality.
There are only a handful of villages in the Wuyi
Mountains that make this tea. Legend has it that in the 1500’s when special
teas were highly sought after by the wealthy merchants of Shanghai and Fuzchou,
a certain tea grower Mr. Wu Guan Ping was personally picking the leaves
for a special client (also he did not want to divulge the location of these
special bushes to his workers for fear that they would steal his tea bushes).
Under the cover of pre-dawn darkness while plucking the tea, a white leopard
that was known to inhabit the mountains came upon the poor Mr. Wu. The outcome
was predictable. When they discovered what was left of Mr. Wu, they found
tightly gripped in his hand tea leaves that appeared totally different from any
others on the estate. In honor of Mr. Wu this tea was pronounced ‘Leopard Snow
Green tea, above all others has a very delicate
flavor which is easily marred by the impurities in the water used for brewing
it. In the Tang and Ching dynasties water filters were not available and teas
were often as expensive as gold. In those days the wealthy tea drinker would
bring water from afar (sometimes up to 1000 miles away). Lu Yu the ‘Tea
God’ declared: Mountain spring water is best, river water is next best, well
water is the poorest.
When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used
repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180’F or
about 80’C. Take 7-10 leaves (which is about a large pinch of tea -
using your forefonger and thumb) and let them steep for about 3 minutes and then
begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup.
Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the
flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew -
they foretell life.