Cloud Forest Rainbow
Ever wanted to take a walk on a cloud? As amazing as that might be, we all know it’s impossible. However, if taking a walk through a cloud would do it for you, you need go no further than Fujian province on China’s southeast coast. Fujian, as you may or may not know, is home to the legendary WuYi Mountains, a stunning landscape of rocky peaks, 112 of which are over 1000m tall. The WuYi Mountains, in addition to being exceptionally easy on the eyes, act as a natural barrier against cold air masses from the north and a trap for moisture that blows in from the sea. The result of all of this blocking and retaining is an almost continual state of cloud cover that blankets the mountain’s dense forests and gives visitors the illusion of walking in the clouds. Interestingly, as miraculous as the cloud cover is for visitors, it is equally, if not more so for plant life. The cloud forest provides the perfect climate for WuYi’s plants, giving them the building blocks and nutrients they need to grow with incredible vigor. As a result, over the millennia, the mountain has become home to thousands of species of trees, plants and flowers, many of them found nowhere else on earth. As mentioned, the region is most famously home to numerous varieties of exquisite tea – many excellent green, oolong and white teas are produced in the general vicinity of the mountains. This luxury tea blend, Cloud Forest Rainbow, based on one such white tea, attempts to capture the diversity and character of life within the cloud forest it in a wonderfully satisfying cup. The Pai Mu Tan used as its base is said to represent the white splendor of the clouds, while the floral components represent the many thousands of orchids and other flower varieties that paint the WuYi landscape. Prepare to enjoy a cup that can proudly claim to be the next best thing to heaven.
A word about Pai Mu Tan: Pai Mu Tan is plucked by hand from a special varietal of tea bush known as Narcissus or chaicha. Only the top 2 leaves and a bud are selected. Unlike green teas, the leaves are not pan fired or steamed. Rather, they are simply withered and dried naturally in the sun. Owing to its minimalist production style, many consider White tea, such as Pai Mu tan, to be among the purest expression of tea in the tea world.
Hot tea brewing method:
This tea can be used repeatedly (à la chinoise) - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F or 90°C. Place 1 tsp of leaves per cup in your teapot and steep for 3 minutes. Then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the pot. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on - until the tea flavor is exhausted. Alternatively for 1 time use, add boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Milk or sugar will mask the delicate characters of this tea and are not recommended. Look at the pattern of the leaves - they foretell life.
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