2024 Vesak Day Gift Box - Green Teas

2024 Vesak Day Gift Box - Green Teas

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Tea and Zen meditation are but the same flavour, in the same spirit. For the first tea box in 2024, we are featuring 6 fantastic Chinese green teas from mountains that are important to Chinese Buddhist culture. 5 are harvested pre-Qingming while 1 is harvested slightly later after Qingming but pre-Guyu. This is just in time for Vesak Day 2024.

2024 Pre-Qingming Putuo Buddha Tea 明前 普陀佛茶 8 grams

Legend says that around BCE 250, the first emperor of China Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) regarded Putuo Mountain as the legendary sacred site where the elixir of immortality could be found. In CE 858, another legend solidified the island as a Buddhist pilgrimage site for the worship of Kuan Yin Boddhisattva (Avalokiteśvara Boddhisattva) very familiar to most Asians. Japanese Zen monk Hui E (慧锷) carried with him a statue of Kuan Yin to bring back to Japan. For three times, the calm sea turned stormy upon setoff from the island. Realising divine instructions, he stayed on and built a temple named "The Monastery for the Kuan Yin who Refused to Leave“ (不肯去观音院). Also known as "Tea in the Clouds" (普陀山云雾茶) to reflect its misty growing environment, this tea was listed as a royal tribute tea during the late Qing dynasty.

2024 Pre-Qingming Mi Le Bai Cha 明前 弥勒白茶 8 grams

Xue Dou Mountain (雪窦山) has been associated with Maitreya Buddha since Tang dynasty. It is located in Ningbo City (宁波) Fenghua district (奉化). Legend has it that a fat monk lived his life in Fenghua. Always carrying a cloth bag, he was known as "Cloth Bag Monk" (布袋和尚). Believed to be the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha, he often preached the teachings at Xue Dou Monastery (
雪窦寺). In fact, the image of the Maitreya Buddha in Chinese Buddhism mirrored his image and so the statue at the monastery is probably the first and original. This tea is grown in the mountains surrounding Xue Dou Mountain, and is named after the Buddha. The tea is similar to the An Ji Bai Cha (安吉白茶) of An Ji county in the same province of Zhejiang. The tea shrubs reveal a whitish tone during spring, and the green leaves turns whitish after brewing. Made into a green tea, it is confusingly named Bai Cha (which translates to “white tea”) because of these genetic characteristics.

2024 Pre-Qingming Fan Jing Shan Maofeng 明前 梵净山毛峰 8 grams

The 2,500m twin peak of Fan Jing Mountain each houses a Buddhist temple with a bridge spanning across them. Associated with Buddhism since the Tang dynasty (1,300 years ago), the twin temples signify the Buddhist lineage from the current Buddha to the future Buddha. One worships Sakyamuni Buddha (current Buddha), while the temple on the other side of the bridge houses Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha). Our tea is cultivated at Fan Jing Mountain north spur of Da Sheng Dun (大圣墩), at an elevation of 1,200 m. It was millions of years ago when earth movements south of China elevated ocean floors into mountains. Fan Jing Mountain - the main peak of the Wu Lin Mountain Range (武陵山脉) - was one of the first to climb during those prehistoric times, bringing with it the rich minerals from the seas which now feeds the strong agriculture and tea cultivations around the area. The tea grows within awe-inspiring karst landform and untouched, pristine forests well-drained by numerous rivers. The mountain range was globally recognised as being the most well preserved nature reserve within the same latitude. During the Ming dynasty, tea from the mountain was royal tribute tea.

2024 Pre-Qingming Emei Sparrow's Tongue 明前 峨眉雀舌 8 grams

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), 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. Tang dynasty Tea Sage Lu Yu (陆羽 ) made special appreciation of the region in his "Classic of Tea“ (茶经). Legend has it that it is the preaching ground of a key Buddhist saint - Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (普贤菩萨). 

2024 Pre-Qingming Mengding Ambrosia 明前 蒙顶甘露 8 grams

According to Buddhist records, an Indian monk during the Song dynasty Bu Dong (不动上师) was known as Ambrosia Grandmaster (甘露祖师). He lived in Yong Xing Monastery (永兴寺) in Meng Ding Mountain (蒙顶山), otherwise also known as Meng Mountain (蒙山). He composed two of the most common Buddhist rituals used today - a ritual of making offerings to wandering spirits and the departed (蒙山施食), and the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance (八十八佛大忏悔文). From then, Yong Xing Monastery became widely popular and sacred, alongside Meng Ding Mountain. This is a royal tribute tea for a continuous 2,000 years since the Han dynasty to the Qing dynasty.

2024 Pre-Guyu Jiuhua Buddha Tea  雨前 九华佛茶 6 grams

This tea is grown in the famous Buddhist mountain of Jiuhua, at an area called Jiu Zi Yan (九子岩) which is where Jiuhua mountain culture and heritage originated. Specifically, it is grown in the misty environment of Yellow Rock Brooke (黄石溪), where the tea growing area is inhabited only by monks and the tea farmers. This ancient tea has two other names of Jiuhua Maofeng (九华毛峰) and Yellow Rock Brooke Maofeng (黄石溪毛峰). A royal tribute tea during the Song dynasty about 1000 years ago, the mountain is historically related to the Korean (ancient Silla) Buddhist monk Kim Gyo-gak (金乔觉) who planted tea there during the Tang dynasty. Buddhist legend says he is the reincarnation of an important Buddhist saint Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva (地藏菩萨), and the mountain has since then become the pilgrimage site for the saint.

(Because this tea is harvested slightly later than the rest, the leaves are larger in size and only 6 grams can fit into the tea caddy.)

Thank you for coming onboard Parchmen & Co and travel with us to savour our world in a cup!

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