At Highwire we love tea as much as coffee. Our tea list comes from this place. We value traditional teas and the intense labor and craft that produces them. One thing we love about tea is the enormous range of styles and flavors. Practical consideration forces us to make choices here, so we choose what we feel are a quality sampling of styles we love. We recognize that there are multiple tea drinking traditions and try to represent them through our selections.
* Black Fragrance - Very Limited Supply
Rare, high mountain tea, skillfully made from the slow-growing Mei Zhan variety. These teas are prized for their subtlety and complexity. This tea is smooth and sweet with elements of molasses, chocolate, wood and spice. $17.00/3 oz.
Black tea flavored with vanilla beans. For those who like a little something extra in their cup of tea, we offer this sweetly aromatic favorite. $5.25/2 oz.
This bold leaf tea exhibits a brisk and slightly malty character. This is a classic morning cup that stands up nicely to milk. $4.50/2 oz.
High grown tea showing sweetly floral and grape notes. Teas from this Himalayan district are among the highest grown in the world, and the local processing has evolved to maximize potential, lending them exquisite aromatics and flavor. Certified organic. $8.50/2 oz.
Bright black tea with bergamot citrus oil. One of the classics of the tea world, ours balances the tea and bergamot flavors nicely. $5.25/2 oz.
Our signature morning cup. Big, bold and complex enough to stand up to milk and refined enough not to need it. We select and combine black teas from Assam, Darjeeling, Yunnan and Anhui to deliver a sturdy, nuanced cup. $5.75/2 oz.
A great iced tea can be harder to find than you think. We tried many teas over ice before discovering this delight. It's a certified organic tea from south India grown in the midst of the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a robust ecosystem comprised of natural forests rich in flora and fauna. It brews a bright and refreshing cup with a hint of natural sweetness that we love over ice all year round. Makes 42 ounces of delicious iced tea with just 1 ounce of leaf. $15.00/half pound
Smooth, dark-liquoring Anhui tea with toasty overtones. Sometimes referred to as the burgundy of the tea world, this makes an easygoing everyday cup. $7.00/3 oz.
A classic, stout bodied Assam. Our source skillfully combines tiny lots of broken orange pekoe leaves to deliver the rounded, bold flavor we love in this tea. Stands up admirably to the addition of milk. $5.25/2 oz.
* Large Leaf Old Trees Pu-erh
A distinctive large leaf pu-erh, aged since 1995. This tea was produced a couple decades ago in the mountains surrounding Simao, Yunnan Province, China. The largely intact leaves betray the care taken in their production, the weathered aroma and mellow flavor show the passage of time. This tea is sweet and subtle with notes of hay and damp earth. Beautiful. $20.00/4 oz.
Rustic Forest Pu-erh
Classic pu-erh evokes forest floor and wet stone. Smooth after several steeps. This tea was produced by the Menghai Tea Factory in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. Using their original formula, the tea was made and compressed into mini tuo chas which are the perfect size for a small teapot. $15.00/4 oz.
White, Green and Oolong Teas
* Black Phoenix Oolong
This variety of oolong has been handmade for over 700 years in the Phoenix Mountains of Guangdong Province, China. Freshly plucked leaves from the Zhong Shan cultivar are skillfully worked by hand, partially oxidized and fired over charcoal in wicker baskets. This traditional drying gives the dry leaf the appearance of heavier oxidation than the infused leaf demonstrates. Black Phoenix is assertive and aromatic with a spicy, crisp apple flavor and honey sweet aroma. Suitable for multiple infusions. $8.00/1.5 oz.
* Finest Jasmine Pearl (pictured right)
Gorgeous, hand-rolled spring green tea, delicately scented with fresh jasmine blossoms. We tasted a handful of teas in this style, and were amazed at the range in quality. Lets just say that not all jasmine pearls are created equal. The lot we selected has the delicate character of a fine spring green tea, carefully scented with night blooming jasmine in a perfect marriage of aroma and flavor. $16.00/3 oz.
Fresh Japanese green tea blended with comforting toasted rice. This is a perfect introduction to the green category as well as a delicious example of the style for the experienced tea drinker. $10.5/3 oz.
# Golden Jade Oolong
Spring 2011 crop. This lightly oxidized oolong is smooth, lushly floral and sweet. The jade leaves are tightly rolled and gorgeous, transforming as they unfurl in the teapot, yielding a deceptively smooth cup overflowing with nuance. $9.00/2 oz.
* High Mountain Phoenix
This is a lovely handmade oolong, grown at very high elevation in the Phoenix Mountains of Guangdong Province, China. It is a single harvest, small lot tea. The leaves are worked by hand by a skilled tea maker to achieve the desired shape and oxidation level on each leaf, then dried carefully in baskets over charcoal to fix the flavor. Here's a chance to taste why high-grown Phoenix Oolongs are so valued. Complex, floral and leafy with melon notes. Rewards multiple steeps. $10.00/1 oz.
Spring 2012 Sencha
Newly arrived 2012 crop of this staple. Deep green leaf, beautiful liquor. Fresh leafy green flavor, delicately sweet and lightly floral. Delicious. We buy this tea in small vacuum sealed bags to preserve the freshness that is the hallmark of this Japanese tea. Yabukita Variety. $15.00/4 oz.
A spring 2012 arrival. It's a full and round white tea grown in Fuding, China, traditionally processed from the first leaves of spring. As a Bai Mu Dan, White Peony offers a lovely mix of light and dark green leaves mixed with silver buds, and offers a complexity of flavor and fullness in the mouth. The cup is clean, round and sweet with hints of melon, apple and herbs. $6.50/1 oz.
Spring 2012 harvest. We tasted several fine green teas from China in search of a tea as good as the 2011 lot of White Monkey we enjoyed last year, including two separate lots of 2012 White Monkey. In the end, a new favorite emerged in this new arrival from Fujian Province, grown in the Wuyi Mountains. This tea is pan fired and shaped into a small curved leaf shape. Wuyi Mountain is heavy bodied and reminiscent of asparagus tip and peppered water chestnut. $6.75/2 oz.
Herbal and Decaffeinated Teas
Heady, pure spearmint yields an invigorating cup with prolific aroma and absolutely no caffeine. $3.50/1 oz.
Named for its Western Cape province home, fruit flavored rooibos is blended with cornflowers, sunflower and rose petals. The brew is enticing, aromatic and relaxing. $5.75/2 oz.
Classic South African herb with woodsy, vanilla aroma. This caffeine free botanical is the closest tasting to black tea that weve encountered. Certified organic. $6.50/3 oz.
Decaf. Earl Grey
Decaffeinated black tea flavored with bergamot citrus. Calming and familiar, it delivers classic tea flavor at any time of the day or night. $5.75/2 oz.
Certain Highwire coffees and teas can be purchased online from our e-commerce site, www.MarketHallFoods.com.
Symbol Key: # Seasonal Tea * Rare Tea