Taishan Wild Grown White Cloud Tea (台山野生白雲茶)
In Taishan, the wild grown White Cloud Tea has been revered by its local people since the Ming dynasty. Traditionally harvested in a narrow 2-month period starting before and after the Qingming festival, the White Cloud Tea is found deep in the forests of the Gudou Mountain Range. The tea’s name can be attributed to its growth at high elevations where it thrives under a constant shroud of fog and cloud. With each tree growing far away from the next, only the most experienced tea pickers know where to find the plant and very few dare to venture off-road. For this reason, very small batches of the tea are produced each year and White Cloud tea remains relatively unknown in the tea world with production and consumption of the rare tea mostly limited to the Taishanese people.
In the early 2000’s, the White Cloud tea was on the brink of disappearance. Knowledge of cultivating the tea was lost as experienced tea pickers retired or passed away and few people from the next generation were keen to take up the grueling and risky work. Over the past few years, our father set out to preserve the dying Taishanese treasure by partnering with local entrepreneurs to push the local government to fund White Cloud tea research and development. These efforts have helped the tea make a comeback in the local market and is now being scoped as a potential source of economic development for the region.
The White Cloud tea is consumed by Taishan locals as an age-old remedy to boost alertness and to treat inflammation, diarrhea, sore throat, cough, labored breathing, phlegm, headache, lethargy, fever, and pinkeye.
Aroma: Deep and reminiscent of cedar wood, with slightly smoky taste. Depending on regionality, there can also be a slight floral scent that is reminiscent of roses.
Flavor: Strong, bold and bitter with a tad of charred flavor, and smooth taste. After swallowing the aroma of the tea stays in the back of your throat.
Note: Due to the small batch production of White Cloud tea and variances in processing techniques across tea artisans, the flavor and aromas of the tea will differ from each harvest. Current flavor notes may not be indicative of future tastings.
Measure 1 heaping teaspoon of tea to a medium-sized gaiwan. Bring the water to a boil and allow it cool for 5 minutes (95-98℃). Pour enough water to submerge tea leaves and immediately pour out this first brew.
Refill gaiwan to the top and steep for 10-15 seconds or until desired concentration before serving the tea. One serving of White Cloud Tea can be rebrewed for approximately 10 times and still retain its flavor.
Protip: Dried White Cloud tea leaves can be infused with honey and preserved in a clean jar for 3-4 months. Locals will take this honey tea preserve and combine it with hot water to create a natural remedy for upset stomachs and diarrhea. Leftover brewed leaves are then pounded down and applied over the eyes to help treat pinkeye.