Global Tea Hut is an experience. It is an ad-free magazine, with translations of ancient tea texts and modern tea experts, travelogues, articles on tea processing, history and lore as well as the Way of Tea (Cha Dao). And it comes with chemical-free, fair trade tea every month. Global Tea Hut is also a community of tea lovers in over forty countries who are looking to connect, share tea and heart space and learn about tea together. And Global Tea Hut supports a free tea Center, called Tea Sage Hut, which you are welcome to visit, as well as worldwide courses that teach tea brewing and cultivation, all without any financial motivation. Global Tea Hut is a unique opportunity to change the world one bowl at a time…
Global Tea Hut is an experience. It is an ad-free magazine, with translations of ancient tea texts and modern tea experts, travelogues, articles on tea processing, history and lore as well as the Way of Tea. And it comes with chemical-free, fair trade tea every month. Global Tea Hut is also a community of global tea lovers in almost forty countries who are looking to connect, share tea and heart space and learn about tea together. And Global Tea Hut supports free tea centers you yourself can visit, schools that teach tea brewing and cultivation without any financial motivation. Global Tea Hut is a unique opportunity to change the world one bowl at a time…
There are no Tieguanyin trees in Taiwan outside of Muzha, so we had to turn to “Four Seasons of Spring (愷센뉴, Si Ji Chun),” which is a direct descendant, and one of the “Three Daughters” of Taiwan. Though you could perhaps call Si Ji Chun a hybrid, it is a natural, wild varietal that arose in Muzha. Since it is a more natural varietal, it is heartier than the other daughters (Jing Shuan, 쏜婢; and Tsui Yu, 답圖). This is a testament to one of the principles we always promote in these pages when discussing what we call “living tea,” which is that the leaves produced by man will never compare to Nature’s. It’s possible to further distinguish manmade teas by calling them “cultivars.” These trees yield buds at least four times a year, which is where its name comes from. “Si Ji Chun” might also be translated as “Four Seasons Like Spring,” referring to the fact that this bush can produce as much in other seasons as in spring. It is also thought to be the youngest of the Three Daughters, coming into commercial production in the 1980s. Si Ji Chun does not have a Taiwan classification number, since it evolved naturally. The leaves of Si Ji Chun are round in shape, with veins that shoot off at 30- to 60-degree angles. The leaves have a light green hue. The buds of Si Ji Chun are often a gorgeous reddish hue when they emerge, which is due to a pigment called anthocyanins (covered in the August 2017 issue).
Si Ji Chun has an exuberant, golden liquor that blossoms in a fresh, musky floweriness. It is tangy, with a slightly sour aftertaste, like the Tieguanyin varietal it evolved from. Many Taiwanese compare the aroma to gardenias. It works well as a heavily-roasted Tieguanyin, bringing many nuances in flavor and aroma to the cup that aren’t ordinarily there, which is perfect for an issue all about food. While it is an innovation in terms of producing Tieguanyin, it is not a great stretch, as Si Ji Chun is a wild offspring and therefore not too different from one of the wild varietals in Anxi. The floral undertones of the varietal bring complexity to an already rich tea. Tieguanyin is amongst the most aromatic and flavorful teas in the world and this month’s is no exception. You will be delighted by just how much each and every cup offers, let alone the shifts of a journey through a session.
This is a bright and very delicious cup, with deep orange, spicy brews. We love the way that Tieguanyin is both sweet and sour at the same time, with a pungent tanginess and the lasting aftertastes that only a well-made oolong can achieve. This tea is very deep, lasting many steepings, each with a complexity that is inviting. Such sessions are like journeys, soaring on the back of the “black dragon” through the clouds to visit distant vistas. We love drinking this tea in the late afternoon or early evening.
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Many of our guests ask us over and over again about the wonderful food here at the Tea Sage Hut. We are very excited to continue sharing tea and food with you in January for the second year. And we needed a very delicious tea to accompany an issue on food, so we chose a delectable tieguanyin to share.
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