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Wuyi Yancha Bei Dou 武夷岩茶北斗
Wuyi Yancha Bei Dou 武夷岩茶北斗
Wuyi Yancha Bei Dou 武夷岩茶北斗

Wuyi Yancha Bei Dou 武夷岩茶北斗

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ORIGIN Wuyishan National Reserve, Fujian

Bei Dou is a yancha cultivar that, together with the Qi Dan cultivar, is a purebred cultivars made from cuttings of the six Da Hong Pao mother trees. This Bei Dou is grown within the Wuyishan nature reserve and offers a great experience of high aroma and minerality in tea.

There is a lot of (often not so good) Da Hong Pao in the market, but fact is that the six mother trees in the Wuyishan nature reserve are not being picked anymore. Often these 'Da Hong Pao' are a blend of different yancha cultivars. Bei Dou is as close as you can get to the original taste of Da Hong Pao. It is grown from cuttings that were taken from the Da Hong Pao mother trees back in the fifties. A unique yancha experience! This Bei Dou has been roasted twice.

What is Yancha?

A yancha is an oolong, a semi-oxidized tea. Yancha is on the heavier sides of the oolong spectrum. It has dark, roasted leaves and the taste is heavier than what you're used to in lightly oxidized teas such as green Taiwanese oolong. Although this sounds like yancha is a tea for the heavy coffee-drinking tongue, the opposite is true. Yancha can be incredibly subtle, smooth, with sweet tones and a complexity that will keep you satisfied 8-10 brews long.

Yancha literally means ‘Rock tea’ or 'Cliff tea'. This is because of the area yancha grows in. Yancha originates from the Wuyishan area, a beautiful nature area in Fujian. The area is so diverse that you can still escape the tourist crowds, following the tracks swirling through all the valleys, in between waterfalls, giant rocks, caves, gorges, cliffs, and tea trees. It’s a place where poets and writers went to for their inspiration back in the days and still, and where monks meditated. It’s one of these scrolls you see, but then in real life. Absolutely stunning.

The unique environment it grows in makes yancha so special. There are no massive fields of tea. It’s a few trees here, a few there, tucked in between rocks, in valleys, everywhere you look. The high rock cliffs play the biggest part in making yancha so special. They catch the morning mist and make sure the trees are always moist. They protect the tea trees from too much sunshine (only softer morning and evening sunlight will reach the trees) and wind. The rocks absorb sunlight during the day, and release the warmth during the night, making sure the temperature in the valley stays stable even in the night.

After picking, Yancha goes through an extensive process. One of the most important features of the tea is the roast. Yancha is fired/baked two, three or four times over charcoal over the period of four months. After that the tea is available for sale, but often it is advised to let it rest for another six months to let the charcoal fire settle into the tea.