- Tea Knowledge
The exoskeleton could ward off any attempts to break in, and so it be. This Hua Juan Cha has only seen a year within its sleeping chambers and could do with many more before its contents are exposed. Consider it a time capsule filled with wild material from Mount Furong, tucked away securely after a hei cha treatment of firing, rolling, piling, then a final steam. The dense matter from a pried-open capsule wafts in sweet and fruity aromas of mango, ripe berries, and dark chocolate; while its malt-forward and slight bitter flavour in the early infusions suggest a high fire roasting that would mellow out with time - a small investment for those who like to create their own adventure.
About the producer
We were approached by Huang Xiaofeng, who runs a small-scale tea company in Anhua, Hunan; with a portfolio of quality hei cha or dark teas from the alpine forests of the region. Their focus on local tradition and authentic techniques took our intrigue immediately that we decided to source a bunch of hei chas to take on an exploration of a tea category lesser known to us. The raw materials are sourced from their 100-acre Laocong old tea garden, a biodynamic environment more than 700m deep in the mountains and far away from local villages and roads.