Gardenia Bird's Tongue 2020


* Extremely limited quantities available.

June 10, 2020

Ya’an, Sichuan

This is truly an exquisite tea, crafted once a year in extremely limited quantities.

The base green tea is a Fist Harvest Bird’s Tongue from the ancient Mengding Mountains. The name “Que she” or Bird’s Tongue is derived from the shape of the tender leaves - they are small and shaped like a bird’s tongue. Only the fresh single buds are picked by hand meticulously. There are over 290 buds in one serving of tea.

Gardenia flowers are very rare to find in the wild. The flowers are extremely delicate, the season is short, and only the unopened buds can be used for scenting, making it extraordinarily time-consuming to forage.

The scenting was done in small batches beginning each time just before midnight, as the flowers give off the best fragrance overnight. The green tea is spread out thinly on bamboo mats with fresh gardenia flower buds scattered in between. The tea slowly absorbs the fragrance and aromatic oils from the flowers for 8 hours. The next morning, the flowers are sifted off, the tea is dried over charcoal and sits for two days to ready for the next round of scenting. The Gardenia Bird’s Tongue went through seven rounds of scenting, the entire process taking more than two weeks to complete.

The result is a superlative tea unlike any other that we have experienced. Drinking this tea is a multi-sensory experience: watching the tiny green buds swirl in water and slowly falling to the bottom of the gaiwan, the intensely sweet aromatics of coconut and cotton candy, creamy and floral notes of pandan and lily.  

A superlative tea that must be experienced and enjoyed.


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