What Is Red Tea?
Known as black tea in the West, red tea is one of the most commonly produced styles of loose leaf tea in the world. A well-made red tea, by definition, is fully fermented – all enzymes exhausted – making it the sweetest, smoothest category. A well-made red tea should not be unpleasantly astringent like many associates with a strong black tea. Instead, it’s naturally sweet with a full body and creamy tannins. Red teas are categorized by geography. It depends on where the tea comes from; rose, honey, malt, dry dates, and longyan are the exciting notes a good red tea promises to deliver.
History of Chan Cha
Origin: Jiu Lian Shan, Xi Tian Wei, Pu Tian, Fu Jian Province, China (~200-500m elevation)
This is a unique red tea made by Fa Yu Shi Fu, a Buddhist monk. Historically, many monks in China make teas, known as Chan Cha, to share with visitors as a gesture of compassion and to create karmic connections. But the practice is becoming rare nowadays.
When Fa Yu Shi Fu first arrived at the South Shao Lin Temple, he discovered many abandoned tea trees in the back mountain of the temple; many are decades to hundreds of years old. Most of these tea trees are Wu Long cultivars, but Fa Yu Shi Fu makes them into red teas because it is good for a monk’s stomach with a vegetarian diet. He’s a one-person team that handmakes all of his teas in ultra-small batches.
Mao Xie Varietal Taste
The 2021 vintage of Mao Xie is slightly savory with a buttery texture.
Share Our Passion
If you love this guided tasting, join us monthly with our Educational Tea Club! We deep dive into two teas a month over Zoom. You'll be able to participate live and ask question and taste the tea together with our community.
What You'll Need
To get the most out of this session, we advise having a gong fu brewing set up ready to brew along with. A Gai Wan, Fairness Pitcher, Strainer, and Three Sip Cup is recommended.
You can purchase a full gong fu brewing kit here.