Popular to produce in China and Taiwan, and emerging in Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, there are endless variations to explore, with each producer leaving a unique signature on the teas they bake and roast. Here's a quick guide on gongfucha and re-steeping oolongs.
Matcha is notoriously a polarizing taste. Sometimes, it’s deservedly so when it’s served without keeping in mind how delicate it is. A burnt/strong matcha can taste like curly kale, old vegetables, and other unpleasant adjectives that precede its reputation. Though matcha lattes have become increasingly popular, and help temper the bitterness through milkfat or nutty creaminess, we suggest the traditional way it’s served in Japan to contextualize and complement its flavors: azuki, sweet red bean, served in tiny tea cakes, buns, jellies, and candies change the experience of drinking matcha (and other Japanese greens) entirely. "The World's Most Dangerous Flavor," Bitter...
Gyokuro, one of the most renowned styles of Japanese tea, is notoriously difficult to perfect, especially since it necessitates considerable time investment. It needs months of patience, years of practice, and decades to perfect. We're honored to share this small lot from a Shizuoka gyokuro master, Omura san. Read more to figure out how to brew it.
"I think this is a very simple, enjoyable tea from storied trees. The elements of a good cup are quite simple. You’ll want good spring or charcoal-filtered water just off a boil; a big dose and a short amount of infusion time. If you honor these core principles, it’s more than likely you’ll get a delicious result. Gongfu works great. Western style works great. It’s easy to enjoy and such an uncanny glimpse into the vanishing story of gardens like these."
Think you know your white teas from your greens, blacks, and oolongs? Think again. Here are some exceptions where oxidation and categories like white, green, black, and oolong aren't snug, well-fit definitions--and it's sometimes not our story to tell otherwise.