Luxury Ingredients: Black tea
Country of Origin: China
Region: Yunnan Province
Shipping Port: Shenzhen
Altitude: 4000' ft. 6000' ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Assam-like briskness with a fresh Yunnan buttery toast and jam finish. Milk will give the tea a malty depth
Infusion: Coppery bright with ochre highlights
Ingredients: Luxury black tea
Looking for a little wish fulfillment? A cup of Bamboo Temple might be just the thing you need. This fabulous black tea gets its name from the famous Shizhusi (Stone Bamboo) temple on Shizhu Mountain in China's Fujian province. Mountain legend maintains that overnight visitors who stay in the Jiuxian (Nine Immortals) Tower, located in the temple, will have beautiful dreams and wake not only feeling completely energized but also finding that all his or her wishes have been miraculously fulfilled. (We admit, Shizhu Mountain summits at 534 meters above sea level, so it may be the lack of oxygen that causes temple visitors to feel this way. That said, we prefer the legend.)
Now, if you are a true tea scholar you may be wondering why a tea that is in fact grown and produced in Yunnan province, would be named after a temple in Fujian province. Good question. Again we turn to legend, this time to a tale told during one of our trips to the town where the tea is made. Drawing on the legend above, this story tells of a tea artisan from Yunnan who struggled to make ends meet on the patch of land he farmed. In desperation, he traveled to Shizhusi Temple to visit a long lost cousin who was a monk there. The monk, sensing that his cousin was in dire straits offered him a bed in the famous tower. That night, the artisan dreamt that his fields were filled with the thick bushes of a tea variety he'd never seen before. In the morning, he awoke, thanked his cousin and set off back to Fujian. What did he find upon his return? Since you're now holding a bag of this tea you can guess how the rest of the story goes!
Can legend be believed? Stranger things have come to pass. What definitely can be believed is the incredible depth offered by this exquisite broad-leafed black tea. As the crinkled leaf unfurls in the cup, toasty aromas waft upward hinting at malt. On the palate, the tea is thick and rich, reminiscent of top Assams. One wish we can predict you'll make after your first cup is that you'll want another and another and another. (No story there!) Quite simply one of China's better black teas.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea, steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!