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Rare Teas

Each year, we look for rare and unusual, single-origin teas that are not commonly found outside China. Traditionally, the highest-grade teas have been produced in limited quantities, sold locally and/or often had a pre-destination (such as an emperor or a high-ranking government official) awaiting what the harvest would yield. As a result, these teas have been difficult to source or were prohibitively priced. The privatization of Chinese tea companies changed this to a degree as it made many of these teas more widely available. Yet, even today, competition for these limited-edition teas remains strong as the domestic tea market has strengthened markedly in the last decade as China's younger tea drinkers explore new styles and flavors and look for better quality.

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  •  Gardenia Fragrance  - Huang Zhe Xiang

    Gardenia Fragrance - Huang Zhe Xiang

    Gardenia Fragrance is aroma, flavors and the artistry of the tea maker. A Dan Cong style oolong harvested on the famous WuDong Mountain, it is a ladder-harvested tea that was processed to a small lot in 2001. Tea was then packaged into specially designed...
    Exceptional leaf appearance, nectar sweet & lingering flavors.
  • Aged White Peony - Rare

    Aged White Peony - Rare

    Harvested in the spring of 2001, this aged White Peony was grown in Zhenghe County. When Silk Road Teas purchased this lot, it was rated as highest-grade leaf (known as Zhending Big White - cultivar Zhenghe Da Bai). The bushes are members of the Da Hao...
    Clean, deep naturally sweet, herbaceous notes. Harvested 2001

  • Black Bud  - Hēi yá - Rare Lot

    Black Bud - Hēi yá - Rare Lot

    First buds of the harvest offer the most pronounced flavors and aromas of the season. As late winter temperatures begin to warm, particularly in the mountains, dormant tea bushes awaken and sprout dense, compact buds, the first new tea. Harvested by hand...
    Sweet, coppery, exceptionally clean flavors; a wonderful lingering finish.

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    Black Fragrance - Hei Xiang - Rare Lot

    This is a rare tea, one that is not exported from China. Made in very small lots, it is sold and consumed locally. It is classed as a "fresh tea", meaning it is single origin, grown and processed on a small farm &...
    Rare, handmade, flavors of sugar cane & molasses.

  • Drum Mountain Clouds & Mist - Mei Lan Chun

    Drum Mountain Clouds & Mist - Mei Lan Chun

    "Reminiscent of nectar from heaven with a rich finish and a lingering, sweet aftertaste." A famous tea buyer's comment after cupping. One of China's finest green teas, Mei Lan Chun is crafted with skills that are becoming increasingly rare in the...
    A perfect sweetness, full of flavors.

  • New Lot!

    Drunken Concubine - Zui Gue

    Drunken Concubine is named in recognition of the intoxicating flavors of a wonderful, high-grade Tieguanyin oolong. Grown in the AnXi Region of southern Fujian Proince, the cultivar is made to variegated shades of greens almost to blue with soft golden...
    Caresses the tongue with nectar-like flavors.
  • Golden Eyebrow - Jīn Jun Mei - Rare Lot

    Golden Eyebrow - Jīn Jun Mei - Rare Lot

    At traditional tea gatherings, Golden Eyebrow is held as a prestigious tea, one to be served proudly, knowing it will enhance friendship. A fine pluck, using buds and the top two leaves, our lot harvested early in spring 2021. The leaves are carefully...
    Aroma of orange, light fruitiness, finish is honeysuckle.

  • One Bush - Rare Oolong Collection

    One Bush - Rare Oolong Collection

    Our One Bush, a Fenghuang Dan Cong or Tan Chung style oolong, is made from a single tree of the famous "Chao An" cultivar. A cultivar local to the Fenghuang area of Guangdong Province, this lot was harvested in 2002. The Chao An...
    Aged oolong, sweet, complex fruit and nectar flavors.

  • Phoenix Bird oolongs - Rare Collection

    Phoenix Bird oolongs - Rare Collection

    Long favored as "tribute teas" by emperors, these 3 teas were grown on small farms in Chou Zhou County, the Yellow or Phoenix Mountains, Guangdong Province, and harvested in 2002-04. Plucked and crafted from select local cultivars, these...
    Flavors of nectar , stone fruit & floral to brown sugar & toasted almonds.

  • Silver Needle - Yinzhen

    Silver Needle - Yinzhen

    Yin Zhen is a variety of remarkable and ethereal Chinese teas made with an exacting skill in plucking, handling, and processing. A delicacy, it is made using a fine pluck standard in which only buds are harvested. Lot Notes. We think this lot...
    Enjoy flavors of fresh apricots and honey.