A special treat for the tea connoisseur, this is a curated selection of rare and special harvest teas, representing some of our finest, seasonal offerings. Our current Connoisseur's Cup collection includes 1 ounce each of the following teas:
Yame Gyokuro - With a mellow sweetness that softens the heart, Gyokuro is the very best of Japan's green teas. Before harvesting, the tea bushes are shaded so that the leaves develop a higher chlorophyll level and less tannin. The result is a very refined tea with dark green leaves, a sweet, mild flavor and a fresh, flowery-green aroma.
Snow Dragon - Grown on a remote farm, Snow Dragon is a rare green tea that delivers a very rounded, sweet flavor with notes reminiscent of toasted sweet rice.
Li Shan High Mountain Oolong - Li Shan, known as Pear Mountain, is a region in central Taiwan renowned for its elegant and flavorful high mountain oolong teas. Grown at an elevation of 1,800 meters, our spring-harvested Li Shan oolong is incredibly smooth with notes of tropical fruits, sugarcane and citrus. Intense floral aromas of honeysuckle and hyacinth are long lasting. The liquid has a pleasantly viscous texture reminiscent of butter cream.
Silver Needle - This highly prized Silver Needle tea is made only from tender new buds that are covered in silver-white hairs. The leaves are picked only two days a year in the early spring and are processed entirely by hand. When infused, Silver Needle tea produces a clear, straw colored liquor with an extraordinary full-bodied, fresh and sweet taste.
We may substitute a comparable tea in the case that one of the designated teas is not available.
Yame Gyokuro - Use 1.5 to 2 teaspoons per 6 oz cup. Heat water until wisps of steam appear (140-150º F). Let steep 2 minutes. For second and third infusions, let steep 30 seconds and 60 seconds, respectively.
Snow Dragon - Use 1 teaspoon per 6 oz cup. Heat water until steaming (170 - 180º F). Let steep 2-3 minutes. Good for multiple infusions.
Li Shan High Mountain Oolong - We highly recommend brewing in the gongfu style, using a small teapot or gaiwan, to appreciate the wonderful aromatics and the unique flavors that unfurl over many steepings. Add tea leaves to fill the teapot about one-third full and let steep approximately 50 seconds to 1 minute. Increase the steeping time by 10-15 seconds for each subsequent brew. Most oolong teas can be re-steeped 5 to 6 times in this manner.
Silver Needle - Use 1 tablespoon per 6 oz cup. Heat water until steaming (180º F). Let steep 3-5 minutes. Good for multiple infusions.
Yame Gyokuro - Japan, Fukuoka Prefecture, Yame Village
Snow Dragon - China, Fujian Province
Li Shan High Mountain Oolong - Taiwan, Taichung County, Pear Mountain
Silver Needle - China, Fujian Province