Ingredients From: China
Region(s): Fujian Province
Shipping Port(s): Fuzhou
Grade(s): Ti Kuan Yin Special
Growing Altitudes: 1500 – 4900 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Semi fermented, Traditional process, Small batch crafted and formed.
Cup Characteristics: Don't tell the Queen (or the future King) - superb refreshing floral oolong (the signature of a fine Ti Kuan Yin) with a creamy finish.
Infusion: Tending olive green with coppery notes.
Luxury Ingredients: Ooolong tea, Green tea, Amaranth + Cornflower + Calendula + Sunflower petals, Natural flavors.
By their very nature, Empresses are usually very complex people. From one corner of the world to another, during any era of history, theirs is a world of intrigue, glamour, wealth and power.
As an example, take Empress Chen Jinfeng (893-935), the third wife of Wang Janjun, ruler of the state of Min during the Chinese Five Dynasties & Ten Kingdoms period. (Incidentally, Chen Jinfang‟s father was a governor of Fujian, the origin of Oolong Royal Empress tea.) Over the course of her life, she survived the assassination of her father, was lost amongst the commoners, lived as a concubine and served as empress until she herself was assassinated. If that doesn‟t sound like a complicated life, we don't know what does.
Given the complications of royal living, it seems only fitting that any tea going by the name “Empress” should be equally as complex. This fabulous Ti Kuan Yin fits the bill. To make this stunning tea, no fewer than eight steps are required:
1. Soft downy buds are plucked.
2. Plucked leaf is withered in the sun.
3. The leaf is cooled.
5. Withered. (This step turns the leaves slightly brown.)
6. Fixed. (The leaf is left to rest.)
7. Rolled. (In which the leaf receives its characteristic Ti Kuan Yin shape.)
8. The leaf is finally dried.
The end result of this complicated procedure is the tea you now hold in your hand – a picture perfect Oolong fit for a queen. Thankfully, enjoying Oolong is a lot less complicated than the process used to make it. Simply steep, sit back and enjoy. Delicious.
Hot tea brewing method:
Traditional method (see note below): When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F/82°C**. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup, briefly infuse with freshly boiled water and then pour off. Re-infuse the tea and pour after about 1 minute or longer to taste and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 single serve packets into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note:
Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100 ºC/212 ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90 ºC/194 ºF.