Zhang Jianshan/Reflection of the Mountain

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DSC_0783.jpg

Zhang Jianshan/Reflection of the Mountain

from 18.00

A very special, rare, fully oxidized Biluochun. Delicious and balanced, it yields a feeling of serenity and focus, reflecting the mountain on which it was grown and processed by our friends Professor Zhang and his wife Ling Ling.

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In 2012, in the middle of a successful career as a physicist, Professor Zhang Fang had had enough of the politics of Chinese academia. He decided to return to his ancestral home in Lu Xiang Village, right at the base of the famous tea mountain Dongting. There, he would restart his family’s small and deeply traditional tea making operation. A hybrid character – both a modernist and a traditionalist (and a trickster to boot) – simply known as “the Professor” in his village, Zhang and his wife Ling Ling rebuilt his 600-year-old family home stone for stone, adding some new touches like latticed abalone shell window shades, airy outdoor “rooms” for meditation and tai chi, organic gardens, a roof that doubles as a vegetable dehydrator, and once again fired up the house’s wood-fired wok for processing Biluochun, one of China’s most prized green teas. Not surprisingly given his research background, Zhang subjected the tea making process to deep scientific study only to find that the most traditional methods used by his grandparents – growing the tea bushes right next to Yang Mei fruit trees so the roots intertwine, soybean and rapeseed cakes for fertilizer, medium-low wok frying in order to bring out the fragrance and white color in the fuzzy buds, slow oxidation under controlled humidity levels – yielded an astonishingly aromatic, clean red tea, the best in the entire region. This particular tea uses the same exact buds and leaves as his Biluochun (picked exclusively in March, when they are tiny and filled with spring’s emergent energies), but here they are fully oxidized. Extraordinarily delicious, balanced, and balancing, one cannot help but notice a feeling of serenity, focus, and centeredness while sipping this tea. Professor Zhang calls this tea Jianshan, “Reflection of the Mountain,” and that is what it feels like. To sip it is to be transported to the Yang Mei groves and rows of Biluochun bushes on Dongshan. Three Mouths is the only source for Zhang’s tea outside of the 50 km radius surrounding Lu Xiang.

Instructions: 4 g tea, 8 oz. of 205° water, 2 min., Steep 4-5 times, adding 20-30 seconds each time.

See our Temperature Guide for help.