– Master, are you having a dessert? What's that rich smell that fills the air with sweetness? It reminds me of the sweets a stranger brought once to our temple from a faraway land. He called them "chocolate", and their taste was the biggest temptation I faced ever since entering this temple!
– Well, my boy, you can enjoy our wild red tea without breaking any taboo! This tea came from the slopes of Vietnamese mountains. Growing wild in a secret forest, its taste has the same rich sweetness as the foreign lands' "chocolate", and it's good for your health! Go fetch the teapot!
Path of Cha proudly presents one of the jewels in our black tea collection. This black tea comes from wild trees growing in a forest on the upper slopes of the Hoàng Su Phì area of Hà Giang in Vietnam. The tea trees belong to a non-Sinensis Camellia variety. They grow untended, in their original state, at an elevation of 2000m+.
This Vietnamese wild black tea uses a bud and two leaves with a long thin shape and dark green color. The trees do not get any trimming. That balances the leaves' inner content and prevents excessive bitterness. Once brewed, a strong, intensive fragrance fills the air. Notes of malt, dark chocolate, and moss unveil one after another with each subsequent brew, leading to a sweet-sour, fruity finish and a rich, prolonged, sweet aftertaste (hui gan). The excellent microclimate and the right combination of soil, rainfall, temperature, and sun provide this tea with a powerful yet balanced Cha Qi.
The local minority Dao (or Yao in Chinese) has been producing tea for ages, using the abundant tea tree resources in the region. Springtime marks the beginning of the tea-picking season, which can start as early as February. After picking, farmers would spread the leaves to wither and let them dry. Then, they will directly roll them without any fixing. This stimulates the oxidation within the tea leaf and brings out a deep red color. They would then dry out the leaves in batches to finish the processing.
The locally growing tea tree variety is an established type of the Assamica variety. The local people call it Shan and divide it according to the tea leaves color. There are Shan đỏ, Shan tím, Shan vàng (Red Shan, Purple Shan, Yellow Shan), and others. People believe that the Shan variety has been here even before the Assamica one. There is a local custom of roasting the tea leaves in a pot over an open fire for a while before brewing it.
195℉ / 90℃
1g per 20ml 3-4min
1g per 20ml 5sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion