Our signature shoucha begins in Jingmai Mountain's old-growth tea gardens as two separate vintages, harvested and pile-fermented in 2015 and 2022, stored loose until blending and pressing in 2022.
Optimal pile fermentation requires a significant amount of material. The 2015 leaf, amounting to about two thirds of this blend, was gathered throughout the spring, summer and autumn months from several Jingmai Mountain villages. Immaculate fermentation and subsequent storage have preserved leaf potency and resulted in an exceedingly smooth liquor. We knew from the first time we tried the loose material that this would be our tea!
The remaining one third of this tea is composed of leaf specially selected, crafted and pile-fermented by Mangjing Village herbalist Su Wenxin. While we were initially skeptical about including such recently fermented material in this blend, the loose leaf quickly assuaged our concern. In fact, we were so compelled by Doctor Su's efforts that we decided to offer a special unblended version.
This tea responds well to a variety of brewing styles and, with a little bit of finesse, will even display nascent chenxiang - aged aroma, despite its youth. Our daily drinker and a terrific foundation for tea practice.
The artwork on Xiangtu's wrapper is very special. It is a painting and poem by the Buddhist nun Ōtagaki Rengetsu created nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, reproduced here on fine Japanese gold-flecked paper. The original hangs in our Jinghong apartment. The poem, translated by John Walker:
An old roof tile
fallen and mossy
in the thick grass
We've put craftsmanship and artistry into this tea. Over a decade of drinking, producing and critically assessing shoucha informed its creation. The knowledge acquired through experience that shoucha practice is the cultivation of emptiness guided our choice of artwork. Rustic and refined, this tea embodies the life to which we aspire, an “aestheticism of primitive simplicity.” We're extremely pleased to present Xiangtu Jingmaishan ... from our hearts and hands to yours!