The most delicate Chinese teas are White teas. The tea leaves are oxidized only about 5% and have very little caffeine.
The harvest lasts only two weeks in early spring.
There are two types of White teas: the youngest downy tea buds and downy tea buds mixed with mature tea leaves.
There are only two stages in the processing: withering and sorting.
Leopard Snow Buds tea is made of youngest downy tea bud of great delicacy. The tea leaves are picked between 3:30 and 7:00 am when the dew is heavy, then gently steamed.
The most well-known Oolong in our collection is Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess. There is a legend of a poor farmer who worshiped the iron statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin. The iron statue was in a deteriorating temple, the village was poor, and there was not enough money to restore the temple. One night the Iron Goddess came to him in a dream and pointed to a place behind her temple where he could find a treasure. She asked him to nurture what he was going to find there. Next morning the farmer found a tea bush at the place where the Iron Goddess had pointed. He cultivated the tea bush and it grew.The farmer shared it with his neighbors and friends in the village and the community became prosperous.
Pour some water in Genmaicha. Wait. . . and the room will smell like something is roasting. The combination seems strange to our Western notions of what tea should be. Roasted rice and green tea? It actually tastes surprisingly good and once tried you will never forget its nutty combination of roasted rice and fresh green tea.
“Gen” means dark, “mai”, rice and “cha”, tea.
Genmaicha: dark roasted rice tea. The color, which is slightly yellow and a little cloudy, comes from the rice. The flavor is incomparable to anything else, with an aftertaste of nuts and roasted rice.
Tea culture came to Japan from China. Many things such as tea developed a new form in Japanese culture and something unique was created. Perhaps one of the reasons for adding rice to tea was its cost. With rice added it was less expensive and more affordable for poor Japanese farmers.
Brewing time is 2 minutes. You may steep this tea two or three more times, each time increasing the brewing period.
Genmaicha is a gastronomic surprise for anyone who has not tried it. It is an evening drink; there is very little caffeine and only one calorie per cup. I ate rice grains after sipping this tea and was very pleased. It was like a complete meal!