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Super-Premium 12 Gentlemen Tea

12 gentlemen tea

Who are the 12 Gentlemen?

You are looking at 12 Gentlemen brand tea 十二先生.  It is a kind of premium supertea from 12 mad scientists based in Kunming. Like a boutique wine vinyard that produces only a few casks a year, the 12 Gentlemen put out a limited quantity of superior quality puer tea  普洱茶. Basically, the 12 Gentlemen get downright scientific with it, testing and analyzing combinations of leaves from different years to get the perfect blend.

Tea is tea! How can it be so special?

That’s what I’m thinking, but that may only be because I am unwilling to put forward the 380rmb necessary to buy a cake of 12 Gentlemen. The tea nerds at TeaChat have been doing their best to educate me recently, but I am still skeptical as to my ability to extract 380rmb worth of enjoyment out of this stuff.

12 gentlemen tea leaves2

How to enjoy a cup of fine tea

The poet Half-Dipper gives some clue about how to think about the flavor:

As the leaves open, a clear cooling sensation appears on my tongue, while a mushroom flavour develops. As infusions pass, this mushroom gradually evolves into something more wood-like.

Cooling mushroom evolving into wood – that sounds like a flavor adventure that I am ready to take.

12 Gentlemen brand tea: ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ vintage – 380rmb

12 gentlemen tea cup

Related: 1987: a Good Vintage for Tea

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