It is believed throughout the tea world that the Chinese province of Yunnan, which borders Laos, Vietnam, Burma, and Tibet, is the birthplace of the world’s first tea plantations. The tea there is grown at very high elevations ranging from 4500-6000 feet above sea level. The altitude, combined with the warmth and humidity of the highlands creates a natural greenhouse that Yunnan tea plants thrive in. Our selected handmade black tea like most Yunnan teas is known by its full-bodied and slightly sweet flavor. It is is famous for its fat golden buds. Tea brewed from good black tea has a reddish brown color. The aroma is strong sugary and floral with a slight roasted undertone. The taste is smooth and sweet and the aftertaste is refreshing and clean. The tea leaves the mouth tasting as clean as spring water. And it energizes the body and mind more harmoniously than the best of coffees.
Golden Snail is the perfect tea for food, marrying well with a wide variety of dishes. It is also an excellent tea for a relaxing afternoon tea time.
Prepare: The water used to steep this tea should be at the boiling point, 212F (100F). Use about 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea leaves for about every 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes with more or less time is recommended depending on the desired concentration.
Black tea is a completely oxidized (fermented) tea. Black tea, or as it is known in China – hong cha (red tea), was originally only for export to the foreign markets. In China it is called red tea in reference to the color of the infused liquid or to the red edges of the oxidized leaves, as opposed to the color of the main body of the processed tea leaves. At one time, black tea was considered of lesser quality and not desired by the Chinese themselves and therefore, was exported. Which is why, to this day, black tea is what everyone outside of China thinks of when talking about tea, whereas, tea in China is understood to mean green tea.
Black tea is also known as “Congous” in the international tea trade business. The name Congous is actually taken from the Chinese term Gongfu or Kung-Fu. Northern Congous are also referred to as black leaf Congous, “the Burgundy of China teas”, and southern Congous as red leaf Congous, “the Claret of China teas”.
Black tea leaves come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis as does all real tea, but probably the best comes from the Assam subvariety of the plant, Camellia sinensis Assamica, or a hybrid. The infused leaf is a reddish copper color and the liquor is bright red and slightly astringent but not bitter. The important difference is in the processing of the tea leaves, which makes black tea different from the other kinds of tea.
Black tea’s caffeine is approximately 3 %, which is the highest of all the different kinds of tea, but still lower than coffee.