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Red Tea

Chan Cha 禪茶

Sweet, umami, floral, ultra clean

Regular price $46.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $46.00 USD


Mei Zhan, Early Spring 2021: Tender fruits, elegant, umami 

*comes in an off white packet. Please note, that the 2021 and 2020 Mei Zhan Chan Cha packets look the same. 

Mao Xie, Early Spring 2021: Deep and bright red, slightly savory with a buttery texture 

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*comes in a red packet

Huang Dan, Early Spring 2021: Notes of sweet yolks and candied corn with a full body

*comes in a blue packet

Mei Zhan, Early Spring 2020: Mildly sweet and umami with notes of orchard and plum

*comes in an off white packet. Please note, that the 2021 and 2020 Mei Zhan Chan Cha packets look the same. 

About This Tea

This tea is a unique handmade red tea made by Fa Yu Shi Fu, a Buddhist monk. Historically, many monks in China made teas known as Chan Cha to share with visitors as a gesture of compassion and create karmic connections. The practice is much rarer nowadays.

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  • Origin

    Jiu Lian Shan, Xi Tian Wei, Pu Tian, Fu Jian Province, China (~200-500m elevation)

  • History and Significance

    When Fa Yu Shi Fu first arrived at the South Shao Lin Temple, he discovered many abandoned tea trees in the back mountain of the temple. Many are decades to hundreds of years old. Most of these tea trees are Wu Long cultivars, but Fa Yu Shi Fu makes them into red teas because it is suitable for a monk's stomach with a vegetarian diet. He's a one-person team that handmakes all of his teas in ultra-small batches. We enjoy supporting Fa Yu Shi Fu's devotion to keeping the Chan Cha-making tradition alive by making his tea accessible to our community.

  • Category

    Category: Red Tea

    Sub-Category: Min Bei Hong Cha

    Cultivar: For 2021, we have Mei Zhan, Mao Xie, and Huang Dan cultivars. For 2020 we have Mei Zhan cultivar.

  • Processing

    Red tea is wilted, then after the stems have lost enough moisture to snap, the wilted leaves are rolled vigorously to break the membranes sufficiently. This step allows complete oxidation that will facilitate the fermentation later on. Red tea is rolled for the most extended amount of time among all teas, often for over an hour. The rolled leaves are shaken loose and evenly layered into a bamboo basket and then covered with wet clothes to ferment. Greener leaves are picked out in a tedious picking step before baking dry over charcoal ash. Ti Xiang is a baking technique designed to enhance and purify the tea's aroma without altering its original flavor profile. It is usually done at least three weeks after the tea has been baked. It is a tricky step that many opt to skip because, if not done correctly can quickly ruin an otherwise mediocre tea.

  • Tasting Notes

    Fa Yu Shi Fu has made a few varietals with his Chan Cha: Mei Zhan is umami and mildly sweet with notes of orchid and plum. Mao Xie tastes like sweet dates with silky tannins and a hint of cinnamon. The blended varietal has Mao Xie and Huang Dan, which together is yeasty, malty, and floral.

  • Brewing Instructions

    Please see above for the category specific brewing specs for Gong Fu brewing. For brewing in a teapot, mug, or single cup visit this article here.

  • Learn How To Gong Fu Brew

    This foundational course is a great resource to help you understand the methods and motions of Gong Fu Brewing.