The Wise Tea Master Lao Cha was meditating in Yunnan's lush forests one early autumn day.
With each breath in, the scent of ripe plums and apricots would whoosh through.
With each breath out, a pine needle would fall off the trees around him.
When Lao Cha finished his morning meditation, he set to work on the tea farms, bringing his new inspiration with him. Thus, Song Zhen Black Tea was born.
Deep in the mountains of China's southern province Yunnan, tea partners Mr. Yang and Mr. Zhang work on rolling needle-thin strands of tea leaves. Indeed, the name Song Zhen "Pine Needle" Black Tea comes from the delicate shape of the tea leaves — mimicking long and thin pine needles. Song Zhen, meaning "pine needle" in Chinese. While this practice is not uncommon in green or white tea production, it's quite unique when it comes to black teas.
While in China hong cha, or black tea, has a history of over 2000 years, this tea is relatively new — just shy of 100 years in age. We categorize this tea as Dian Hong, which means Yunnan red tea. It's a craft tea that gained immense popularity in the early 20th century after becoming a favorite with the Queen of England. Preferring the gentle and sweet flavor profiles of Chinese black tea over the more robust profiles of Indian black tea, Yunnan tea quickly gained a royal following.
What makes Pine Needle Dian Hong Tea exceptional is the tea leaves — the iconic golden hues of Yunnan black tea covered in fuzz – a sign of quality and young age of the leaves. At first sight, you might really think that these are pine needles that fell to the ground in autumn, making it a genuinely timely tea that farmers finish processing just in time for fall.
The flavor profiles of our Song Zhen Black Tea are light and aromatic, making it an ideal brew for those new to Chinese black tea. At first sip, the liquor is sweet, and a tad bit sour, with bright notes of apricot. The taste and aroma transform with each subsequent infusion — sugared vanilla and fragrant roasted coffee beans come into play. Then comes a long-lasting, mouth-watering, and malty finish. Take a whiff of your gongfu set afterward, and you'll get notes of sappy autumn prunes.
Mr.Yang and Mr.Zhang are living and tea farming in Pu'er, Yunnan. They are knowledgeable, creative, curious, and not shy of experimentation. Yang and Zhang love experimenting with local ancient trees as well as with cultivars that are not native to Yunnan, and create new and unique tea varieties.
1g per 80ml 3-4min
1g per 20ml 5sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion