2024 Pre-Qingming Emei Sparrow's Tongue 明前峨眉雀舌
2024 Pre-Qingming Emei Sparrow's Tongue 明前峨眉雀舌

2024 Pre-Qingming Emei Sparrow's Tongue 明前峨眉雀舌

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A historical green tea that was famous since the Tang dynasty, this tea is cultivated in the core tourism and tea production regions of Emei Mountain. Sichuan, where Emei Mountain is located, has thousand-years' tea lineage owing to its natural terrain and climate that are ideal for tea and culture to blossom well. Arguably the cradle for the Chinese culture, hear the great names from here: Tea patriarch Wu Li Zhen (吴理真) of Mengding Ambrosia (蒙顶甘露), literary greats in the likes of Li Bai (李白), Du Fu (杜甫), Bai Ju Yi (白居易), Su Shi (苏轼), Lu You (陆游), Huang Ting Jian (黄庭坚), Sima Xiang Ru (司马相如·), just to name a few. The romance of tea making steeped in the colourful poetry of the great wordsmiths of the past, brewing volumes of literary works that revolved around tea. Tang dynasty Tea Sage Lu Yu (陆羽 ) made special appreciation of the region in his "Classic of Tea“. 

The home of the Panda, Sichuan is in a basin, surrounded by upland regions and mountains on all sides, and drained by the Yangtze River. The topsoil is fertile, and supports rice cultivation so much so that it is called the breadbasket of China. In the same vein, Sichuan is unsurprisingly one of the top three tea producers in China too. The diurnal range is large, creating elegance in tea flavour, and the ample sunshine allows tea to be ready for harvest about two week to one month earlier (depending on year)  than its closest "production competitor" of Zhejiang of Dragon Well (龙井) fame.

Mountain Emei is a famous Buddhist mountain in China. Legend has it that it is the preaching ground of a key Buddhist saint - Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (普贤菩萨). Emei Snow Bud (
峨眉雪芽) is a registered product of listed government-owned company Emei Tourism Co. Ltd (峨眉山旅游股份有限公司). As such, its name is protected. Our tea grows in the same area, and we avoid that name to call it Emei Sparrow's Tongue. The famous landmark of the area is Golden Summit (金顶·) at 2,800m. Tea grows in neat rows around 800 - 1200m in the Buddhist mountain of Emei amongst mist and fog, slowly growing and developing high level of umami. This tea is harvested only in the spring season around the first to second week of March. In 2024, the teas were harvested from 12th March. It arrived in Singapore on 25th March. The picking standard is all tender buds before they open. The dry leaves are visually pleasing - small, glossy flat, and they smell of roasted nuts and melon seeds. The shape of the tea earns it the name of Sparrow's Tongue. The winter lasts from Oct to Feb, during which the snow kills the pests in the field. During the short duration when the tea plants start to bud, they are plucked to make this tea. There is no need to apply any chemical fertilizer or insecticides and this tea is conventionally organic.

We are using two methods to brew this tea. First, in the Parchmen Glass Teapot, we are using 4g of tea in 85°C of 200ml water, to let it steep for 2min. The tea pot allows an additional dimension of visual enjoyment, with glossy green and slightly curved buds of around 2cm long and 5mm broad floating underneath the water surface of the pot, and gradually sinking down to the bottom as the tea brews. You can brew using a higher ratio of 5g of tea to 200ml of 85°C water, for 3min. We are also using the Parchmen Glass Gaiwan, with 3.5g of tea to 100ml of 80°C water, for 45sec.
In this method, the brewed leaves smell of fried peas. In both the brewing methods, the tea has an impressively heavy body for a green tea with a round mouthfeel and little astringency. Tea is light, sweet and quenching. Aromas of white and purple flowers permeate the entire brew. In the gaiwan, you can brew one more times, at 75°C water for 1min.  

This tea is packed in 30g or 50g in a tin tea caddy.  

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