Antony & Cleopatra Tea Hearts - Pressed Loose Leaf Black Tea

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The tradition of pressing black teas into various forms and shapes dates back to the early Song Dynasty, 960 - 1279 BC. Sculptors and artisans would work with tea the way others worked with clay or textiles to form and mold delicate works of art. Unlike traditional art pieces however, these tea creations were never meant to be permanent, instead serving to represent the impermanence of life, love and happiness here on earth. In the modern era, the traditions continue and the stories and fables of life and love still serve as the inspiration for the creation of unique tea pieces. One such story, although it originally came from the Western tradition, inspired the manufacture of these tea hearts: the tragic tale of Anthony and Cleopatra.

The story of Mark Anthony and his star-crossed lover Cleopatra is one of the most famous love stories of all time. Mark Anthony, living in Alexandria Egypt, falls in love and moves in with the Cleopatra. It would have all been very straightforward if not for the fact that he was already married to another woman back in Rome. Over the years, Anthony and Cleopatra are separated by trial, war and bloodshed, but are ultimately reunited in death. Anthony, unable to bear defeat in battle against Caesar, his legal brother in law, kills himself by falling on his sword. Hearing the news by messenger, Cleopatra follows suit and poisons herself with the venom of an asp, a deadly snake.

Oh, the agony of the heart!

And what better way to pay homage than through the agony of the leaf? (Agony of the leaf is a taster's term used to describe the unfurling of tea in boiled water.) These beautifully pressed Yunnan tea hearts serve as a testament to fractured love. Like love itself, the hearts are fragile and breakable, and when the trials and tribulations of life come to bear on it, can unravel. In the same way, boiling water poured over the tea hearts causes them to undo, infusing with rich, bold liquor. The cup produced is tremendous - dark, with deep notes of wine and subtle earth, full body and medium-long finish. Best enjoyed in the company of someone special.

Where was black Pu-erh developed? Good question. While the exact origins of most Chinese Pu-erh teas have been lost to the mists of time and place, the origin of black Pu-erh can be pinpointed directly to the Kunming Tea Factory in the year 1972. In that year, the government of China, seeking to broaden its economic base, mandated that the Kunming factory develop a new, delicious tea that could be widely marketed. Drawing on centuries of experience, the tea masters of Kunming determined that a black Pu-erh was the ticket. (They were right, to this day black Pu-erh is the world's top selling variety.)

What makes black Pu-erh tea different from other black teas? Great question. The answer is real fermentation and aging. Black Pu-erh undergoes a fermentation process in which the tea is processed and stored for a set period of time without being dried completely. The tea is usually either buried in the ground, stored in caves or under damp heavy tarps. Fermenting over time imparts the earthy character typical of most Pu-erh teas.

How to Make Tea

To make this tea bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Break tea apart and place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).

Caffeine content:Medium.

Antioxidant Content:Medium. The longer you steep your tea the more polyphenols will be extracted. (Test results based on 5 minutes steeping time. Polyphenol percentages may fluctuate with lot, grade of tea, testing method, temperature of water and freshness of tea). More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis) the longer it is brewed. And the more tea is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.

Ingredients: Black Tea

A bold taste profile with deep red wine notes. Reminiscent of seasonal Keemun.
5.25 (in)
3.00 (in)
7.25 (in)
Country Of Origin:
Valentines Day
Product Type:
Loose Leaf Tea
Dietary Options:
Dietary Options:
Dietary Options:
Black Tea
China Black Tea
Return Policy:
Not Returnable

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