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China Beauty Rings

Green Tea

Country of Origin: China
RegionSichuan Province - Mount Meng Region
Shipping Port: Shanghai 
Grade: Green tea rings
Altitude: 4000 ft. above sea level 
Manufacture Type: Streamed green tea and handmade tea ringlets 
Cup Characteristics: Hint of toastiness. Almost a pleasant jammy-like character. 
Infusion: Tending yellow pale fullness 
Ingredients: Luxury green tea

The method of manufacture of this tea is quite interesting. The first and second leaf of new shoots are painstakingly plucked during the end of March and the first two weeks of April, (the bud is used to make special needle teas). These leaves are allowed to wither every so slightly steamed, and then hand rolled (lengthwise, where a few of the leaf cells are broken allowing some of the green tea flavor to develop). Following the rolling, the best leaves are selected and curled around a ‘beauty stick,’ pressed flat and then dried in a special oven to lock-in the flavor and preserve the unique shape. Note that the bottom of the new leaf is covered with a ‘new down’. This signifies new, fresh and pure - characteristics that were held in high regard by those striving for ultimate beauty. There are only two villages in the Mount Meng region, which make these teas. These two villages are the holders of the ‘beauty sticks’; sticks that the favorite consort of a 13th century Emperor blessed with her beauty.

Green tea, above all others has a very delicate flavor, which is easily marred by the impurities in the water used for brewing it. In the Tang and Ching dynasties water filters were not available and teas were often as expensive as gold. In those days the wealthy tea drinker would bring water from afar (sometimes up to 1000 miles away). Lu Yu the ‘Tea God’ declared: Mountain spring water is best, river water is next best, well water is the poorest.

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