Qimen Wu Li Qing (祁门雾里青) is a supreme early spring green tea from the famous Qimen County of Anhui Province. It consists of uniform, very fine plump young buds that have been carefully picked and processed by hand. It produces an exquisite bright liquor that is delicate in flavour, with complex sweet and umami notes. This is an excellent top tier Ming Qian green tea, picked and finished on 13 March 2021.
This tea is part of our new 2021 Rare & Limited tea selection. Due to high demand, especially locally in China, there is an extremely limited quantity of this particular fine tea available every year. Once this batch is sold out, we will not be able to bring it back in stock until next spring.
Wu Li Qing has a long history in China, being presented as a tribute tea in Beijing in 1508. Traditionally this tea was made in the Buddhist monasteries and around Jiuhua Mountain in the southern part of Anhui Province. Presently most of the production is centred around the Shitai County of Anhui Province that is just to the north of Qimen County. Qimen County is of course well-known as the origin of Qimen Hong Cha, or Keemun black tea as it is commonly known in the West. Various grades of Qimen Hong Cha exist and we carry two versions, an ever so popular Keemun Mao Feng that leans towards the types commonly found in the West and Keemun Jin Zhen, a type that is more favoured in China for a more delicate and subtle flavour and traditional gongfu brewing. With black tea being the main output of Qimen County, it was particularly exciting and unusual to find such a fantastic green tea from here.
Wu Li Qing green tea has a long history of being exported to Europe. The Götheborg merchant vessel that belonged to the Swedish East India company sank just outside of Gothenburg in 1745. At the time it was transporting tea, porcelain, spices and silk from China. During excavations carried out in 1986-1992, many items were recovered, including sealed porcelain jars with tea that was said to have been still drinkable! Using the marks on the porcelain jars, it was established that the tea contained inside was Wu Li Qing, produced in the cloudy mountains of Anhui Province. At the time of the sinking of the ship, it would have been a treasure tea that was popular with the Swedish upper classes and royalty. Allegedly, for one pot of Wu Li Qing, a person often had to exchange the same amount in jewellery. Interestingly, the replica of the original Götheborg was built and sailed to China in 2006. On the voyage back it again carried some goods it would have transported over 250 years ago, including some Wu Li Qing green tea for the Swedish Royal Palace.
Our Qimen Wu Li Qing green tea consists of neat, finely selected plump tender young buds, which is a classic appearance for this type of tea. These have been carefully picked, selected and processed by hand. The dry leaf has a wonderfully verdant and lightly floral aroma. It produces a very light liquor that is bright with a lightly floral aroma. The complex taste is very delicate, with a good early spring sweetness in the flavours. There are notes of freshly cut grass, brassica umami flavours and a hint of fruitiness on the top notes. The clean aftertaste is delicate and soft with a recurring sweetness coming through.
This green tea is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed more than 3 times, increasing steeping time with each next brew if desired. This method produces a light and mild liquor. It is also possible to brew for longer or use larger proportion of leaves to water for a stronger flavour. 5g to 250ml of water, at 80°C for 1 minute for a lighter flavour and 2 minutes for a stronger flavour.