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Our Annagee brand's pursuit for the finest simple pleasures in life, we insist on safe, ecological, organic, preferably compostable products without compromising their exquisite original, natural or traditional, tastes and scents. We opt for convenient yet minimal packaging that preserve product freshness without excessively encumbering the environment.
Plunge an unbleached muslin sachet of our whole leaf tea in a cup of 80 degree celsius water from any normal/hot water dispenser. Steep for one to two minutes. Behold, inhale and savour the magic. Reuse as desired, up to three times within an hour.
For a sweeter brew, keep the steep temperature at no higher than 80 degree celsius. To cool boiled water, pour into a ceramic jug and wait for a few minutes. The third and fourth steeps get you that proverbial quintessential elixir. Enjoy!
Chinese teas are loaded with polyphenols which have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help to reduce the risk of a number of diseases like heart disease.
According to studies, hot tea drinkers have lower BMI and smaller waistlines as compared to non-tea drinkers.
The high quantity of antioxidants have shown to be effective at warding off certain forms of cancers like; breast, prostate, ovarian and colon.
Several compounds found inside tea helps the body to better metabolize sugars which is really good for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
The antioxidants found inside Chinese teas helps to fight off the free radicals that are responsible for a number of diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer.
The anti-aging effects associated with drinking Chinese teas are thought to help ward off the effects neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
Teas contain a naturally occurring fluoride which helps to prevent plaque build-up which helps promote healthy gums and teeth. The fact that most people drink tea unsweetened or only lightly sweetened.
Probably the most famous and priciest of all Chinese teas, Da Hong Pao (大红袍) comes from evergreen shrubs (Camellia sinensis) that grow amidst the verdant and mineral-rich karst terrain of Mount Wu Yi, in the southern Chinese province of Fujian. Prized not only by the Chinese, the seeds, seedlings and cultivation methods of the Da Hong Pao - esteemed at that time as the best tea in China by the British - would have somehow made their way to India around 1849, spawning the Indian tea industry (Source). In other words, that makes Da Hong Pao the ancestor of all English black teas from outside of China.
Legend has it that the curative powers of Da Hong Pao first came to the attention of a Ming Dynasty scholar, Ju Zi Ding, who, while on his way to sit for the imperial examinations in the year 1385, recovered from a bad stomach upon drinking a tea offered by a monk from Mount Wuyi and went on to become the top scorer for that year. After getting his head start in officialdom, Ju Zi Ding made his way to Mount Wuyi and found his benefactor, the monk, at the Temple of Celestial Heart and Eternal Joy (Tian Xin Yong Le Temple). Accepting his thanks, the monk pointed out the tea shrubs, whereupon Ju bestowed his bright red imperial robe (called “da hong pao” in Chinese) in gratitude for their timely intervention.
The story continues with Ju Zi Ding returning to the palace and saving the ailing Empress Dowager with his special oolong tea when all the imperial physicians had given up. Since then, the Da Hong Pao shrubs were honoured with annual patronages from the palace, with a ceremony of draping imperial red robes around them, re-enacting Ju Zi Ding’s gesture of gratitude. The palace officials would subsequently return to Beijing with the annual loot, oops… hmm, imperial tribute from Wuyi.
Probably the trendiest of all Chinese teas, Pu’er (which sounds pretty much like “Pooh-Earl”) comes from ancient tea shrubs of the Assamica variety that grow in the misty luscious mountains of Yunnan in China. Prized traditionally for its wine-like potential to improve with age, Pu’er has also gained widespread fame for its probiotic and health-enhancing qualities. Legend has it that Pu’er tea might never have seen the light of day had it not been the timely prevention of a double suicide.
During Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the Qing dynasty, a well-established Yunnan tea merchant, Mr Pu (coincidentally pronounced “Pooh” but a different Chinese character from the one in Pu’er), was designated by the local authorities for the annual court tribute (federal taxes, if you prefer). One year, Mr Pu, having taken ill, entrusted his young son with the important task. The younger Mr Pu prepared several cakes of pressed tea leaves then left for the capital with the county magistrate, Mr Luo.
After three months of horseback travelling in hot, humid and rainy conditions, the pair made it to Beijing a day before they were due at court. Upon checking into an inn, young Mr Pu unwrapped a cake of tea and found, to his horror, that the precious green leaves had turned… compost brown. Lamenting that his negligence had caused dishonour to his family, the young man hung himself. Luckily the clatter of his clumsy attempt had the innkeeper and Magistrate Luo running to the room in time to save the young Pu. When the magistrate eventually saw the cake of tea, he too, plunged into suicidal despair.
The puzzled innkeeper picked up the cake and was instantly captivated by its delicious aroma, an intoxicating blend of forest scents and steamed glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf. He told the two men, “You guys are out of your mind. This tea smells terrific. I can’t wait to try it.” So a jittery Junior Pu made them all the accidentally matured Pu’er tea which not only turned out to be a sweeter, richer and smoother brew than its predecessor but was also remarkably restorative and relaxing.
As the two men regained their composure while sipping the all new Pu’er, the innkeeper reasoned, “Why would you bring this great tea all the way from Yunnan and before you even offer it up, choose to kill yourselves? It wouldn’t be too late to kill yourselves after making the tribute, would it?”
So the magistrate and the young master took a gamble and luckily for posterity (i.e. us tea lovers today), Emperor Qianlong, always on the lookout for a novel tea, picked the unusual dark orange brew beckoning him and promptly proclaimed his delight. As the pair from Yunnan were first too frazzled then too stunned to invent a fancy name for his new-found favourite, the emperor named it, without much second thought, after the men’s hometown, Pu’er. And henceforth, the emperor, having lived to 87 - when the average life span back then was probably less than half of that - became Pu’er’s No.1 poster boy.
Iron Goddess aka Tie Guan Yin (铁观音 pronounced Tee-yay Kwan Yeen) or by its initials TGY, a favourite of the Southern Chinese and the Chinese diaspora, is amongst the most renowned of Chinese teas. The best of the TGY cultivars hail from inner Anxi County, where the mineral-rich high altitude terroir yields teas with a unique and distinct floral freshness and fruity accents.
Xiping Town is the historical birthplace of Tie Guan Yin and the mother bushes are still there right by the rock from which its name was derived. Tea produced from the Xiping cultivar is reputed to retain its flavour up to the seventh steep when prepared in the traditional way with a Chinese teapot.
Legend has it that in the year 1723, a poor farmer, Mr Wei Yin, who took it upon himself to tend regularly to a dilapidated temple of Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, dreamt of the goddess telling him to look for a treasure beside a boulder at the back of the temple. The next morning, the farmer went behind the temple and lo and behold, next to the said boulder, was a lone leafy shrub. He nurtured the shrub and it grew into a large bush, yielding a flavourful infusion. Naturally, he named the boulder, Guanyin Rock and the tea, Guanyin Tea.
A decade or two later, Mr Wang, a scholar from the area, serendipitously stumbled upon the luxuriant tea shrub at Guanyin Rock. He brought home some cuttings and started his cultivation. In 1742, Mr Wang gifted his tea to a good friend who happened to be the Officer of Rituals in Emperor Qianlong’s court. This Officer Fang, a tea connoisseur, in turn presented the home-grown Anxi oolong to the emperor. Qianlong, so impressed by the tea’s floral fragrance and its note-worthy weight (“As heavy as iron” goes the Chinese expression), while at the same time bemused by the dream-come-true tales associated with the Goddess of Mercy, bestowed upon it the formidable name of “Iron Goddess of Mercy” and henceforth, TGY became an imperial tribute tea (federal taxes, if you prefer) and with that, its fame took off.