Gardenia Bird's Tongue 2021


栀窨雀舌 私房茶

June 8, 2021


Ya’an, Sichuan

Handcrafted once a year in extremely limited quantities, our Gardenia Bird’s Tongue is a truly exceptional tea, unlike any other we have in our collection. The evocative name “Que She,” meaning Bird’s Tongue, derives from the elongated form of the tiny, tender leaves. Single, fresh leaf buds are meticulously hand-picked to form the base green tea, the First Harvest Bird’s Tongue from the ancient Mending Mountains in Ya’an, Sichuan. Each tea serving is a scoop of more than 290 leaf buds.

Scenting the fresh tea buds are aromatic gardenia flowers, foraged from the Mending Mountains. Rare to discover in the wild, the flowers are delicate, the growing season is short, and for this tea crafting, only unopened flower buds, with an exquisite scent that is lighter than mature blossoms, are chosen. Collecting the tiny buds is an extraordinarily meticulous task; it is also time sensitive, with a brief harvest duration in mid-June.


Once collected, the scenting cycle begins. In a time-honoured and ancient process that lasts a fortnight, this fragrant tea cycle includes seven rounds of scenting. Each round begins just before midnight, timed for the blossoms as they emit the desired fragrance overnight. The green tea leaves are thinly laid on bamboo mats, the fresh, wild gardenia buds scattered and intermingled. Slowly absorbing the fragrance and aromatic oils from the flowers, each tea scenting cycle mirrors a sleep cycle, lasting eight hours until the following morning. The flowers are extracted, the tea leaves are dried over warm charcoal; the leaves rest for two days, and another round of scenting begins, each round with freshly foraged, delicate white, aromatic gardenia flower buds. Seven rounds, each a labour of love.


The result is an exquisite tea unlike any other. Gardenia Bird’s Tongue satisfies all the senses; the tiny green buds swirl in water and slowly fall to the bottom of the gaiwan; beautifully studded with white blossoms, it conveys honeyed aromatics of coconut and honeysuckle, creamy and floral notes of pandan and lily. 

Created in small-batches. Available now in limited quantities.

Our Wild Gardenia Bird’s Tongue is a superlative tea that must be experienced and enjoyed.

Brewing guide

Tea 3g
70 °C
Water  120ml
Steep time 5 - 30 sec
No. of infusions 8


Cold Brew Guide

Tea 2g
Water 12 oz
Temperature Room temperature filtered water
Steep  Brew at temperature overnight, then chill in the fridge
No. of infusions 2




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