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Halfway Up the Mountain - Ban Shan Xiang


Old Oolong tea trees are the source for this lot.  Using ladders to reach the higher reaches of the tree, its large leaves are plucked and painstakingly processed.   In this case, the tea was processed in a very small tea factory located on the flanks of WuDong Mountain, in Guangdong Province.  Classed as Dan Cong or Phoenix-style Oolong tea, this varietal grows to a large leaf and its tastes cannot be duplicated elsewhere.  Soil, spring water, elevations and varying temperatures combine to create a tea that is unique.  

Our lot was harvested 16 years ago.  One will note its exceptionally large, brown leaves edged in light colors of red and yellow, the result of hand working process.

Why we selected this lot.   Each harvest, there will be teas offered that are exceptional, that epitomize the season and artistry of tea.  In tasting this lot, it embodied what a really good tea should offer.  Appearance - the leaves are beautiful - long and elegant, a deep & rich brown color.  Aroma is unique, soft and sweet.  In cupping, we noted a wonderful tension between its sweet, nectar-like notes and an underlying astringency - very enjoyable to taste and suggestive of the strength of the leaf.  This play between notes in the cup is delightful.  The tea maker had been introduced as skilled and this tea well exemplified this.

Interesting facts about this lot.  It was harvested in 2002.  It has been in storage since that time.  Carefully preserving the leaves, we recently cupped the tea, gave it a soft firing and felt it was time to offer it for sale.   The leaves are quite large, deep in color reflecting the style of processing practices in the area.  The lot totaled 4 kgs. for the harvest.  It is handmade.  It will provide a number of steeps - 5 to 7.

Taste profile.  Taste is soft, silky and lush.  In time, the flavors have softened yet there is complexity as well and these variations in taste come through in subsequent infusions.  The years have rounded the notes.  In profiling this tea, we keep coming back to the fact these flavors are one-of-a-kind terrain, quality of leaf pluck, processing and firing have all come together to create a unique, time-worthy taste.  

Brewing suggestions.  Use 3 to 5 grams of leaf for 8-12 ounces of water.  Water is best at boiling temperature to open the leaves.  Rinse them briefly and pour the water off.  Re-infuse for 1.5 minutes and taste.  Or brew GongFu style with plenty of leaf.  Rinse the leaves, steep briefly 30-60 seconds and taste.  Keep re-infusing and cupping.  These leaves will steep 5-plus times. 

$103.00    per  
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Silk Road Teas is an award-winning purveyor of rare and artisan teas. Every year, we travel extensively in China, visiting small farms, out-of-the-way tea markets, cooperatives and specialty tea companies to find teas that offer our customers the highest quality and a distinctive taste experience. As a result, our teas are widely recognized for their variety and unparalleled quality. Quite simply, you won't find a finer tea anywhere. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Supporting adults with disabilities

Silk Road Teas is more than just tea. We are committed to giving back to our community by providing jobs packaging our teas to disabled adults. As the older brother of a disabled person, Ned Heagerty, Silk Road Teas President, recognized the challenges and limited opportunities disabled adults face. So he wanted to make a difference. It is a small step, but it is an action we believe in and will continue to follow. Recently, we were honored by receiving the Employer of the Year Award from Integrated Community Services (ICS) for our commitment to employ persons with disabilities.

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Silk Road Teas has received the Employer of the Year Award from Integrated Community Services (ICS) for their commitment to employ persons with disabilities. Silk Road Teas is committed to improving the quality of life for disabled persons, sharing the belief with ICS that business can substantively help people with disabilities achieve independent lives by providing jobs in an encouraging and supportive environment.

Hand In Hand
Our tea boxesare hand packaged by an adult with disabilities. Silk Road Teas remains committed to creating opportunity and jobs in our community.

Sales of our Teas Benefit Ceres
Ceres Community Project builds healthy communities by restoring locally-grown organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health and creating heart centered ways for people to connect.

Ceres teaches teens to grow, cook and eat healthy whole foods and provides nourishing meals, nutrition education and a community of support for people facing cancer and other serious illnesses. www.ceresproject.org

Read the recent article in the Marin IJ: Silk Road Teas gives back

...What sets Silk Road Teas apart from others is the Heagertys are using their success and new tea line as a way to give back to the community...

Gives Back They're amazing people and of course the product is phenomenal. We're so proud to be associated with them. In today's nonprofit world, truly the best things you can have are compatible, giving partners.

Julie Burford, Program Manager and Founder of the Ceres Community Project of Marin.


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