JASMINE BAI HAO hails from Guangxi province, China, a tea growing region known for heicha ("dark tea"). The province is also home to Heng county, famed for its jasmine flower production. Our project tea producer at Long Kou tea farm (an unusually skilled green tea maker) leverages the fertile soils of north-central Liuzhou and the high fragrance flowers from neighboring Heng in his annual production of our house jasmine. The base tea is harvested in early spring (pre-Qing Ming) at a loose 1:4 (1 bud : 4 leaves) plucking standard, fixed, machine-disrupted into semi-pearls, and after the summer jasmine harvest, scented in 6 rounds.
Our take on this Fujian classic is produced in small lots with the intention of selling out by next harvest. Mingfu, the producer and our on-site liaison, takes his jasmine production very seriously—he's as much a connoisseur of fine wine as tea, and understands the value of a well-rounded bouquet that elevates the base tea (rather than masks it). Unusual in scented tea, this lot is rich with cha qi—Mingfu's low-intervention, middle-aged, da ye cultivar trees pack a punch.
To achieve a thorough but balanced scenting, hundreds of hand-plucked jasmine flowers mingle with the base tea overnight, are sorted and removed by hand, and the process repeated 6 times before being packed at origin. Pour water on and off immediately through the first half of a small format session, and keep large format steeps between 1-2 minutes—for both, use cooler water.
We source our green teas fresh each year at harvest. But like all green teas, this lot will begin to "stale" after 1 year. This process is greatly stunted by proper storage (our bulk bags are ziptop) and refrigeration.