- Tea Knowledge
Named after its legendary creator, a buddha with iron-coloured or perhaps rust-coloured skin, Tieluohan ('Iron Arhat') is one of the Si Da Ming Cong, or 'four famous (tea) bushes', and particularly known for its pear taste. But far from being simply fruity, the multiple roastings undergone by these leaves has given them an impressive array of flavours, emboldening the spiciness of black pepper, ginger, and a hint of herbal wintergreen, and mellowing the roasted flavour into gentle dulce de leche. All wrapped around a brothy body of blackberry or, yes, pear. But be warned! A strong steeping can bring out all the hidden intensity of its roasting—perhaps like the secret skill of a recluse monk.
Wuyi Yan Cha – the tea from the rocks
Wuyi Yan Cha, aka Wuyi Rock Tea or, more properly, Cliff Tea, is an ancient oolong tea (one of the six tea categories, halfway between green and black teas). Rock tea is produced in the northern Fujian province.
Wuyi Yan Cha are complex teas. The typical mineral savor shares the field with the strength from roasting and the delicate floral and fruity hints.
Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Wuyi Mount region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys, next to the cliffs, in a mineral-rich soil.