The Teachings of Kenneth S. Cohen
Qigong, Tai Chi, Taoism, Health, Tea & Cultural Arts
Cloud Forest Tea © is the private reserve of teas and Yixing tea pots that I have personally selected, which are available for purchase at workshops, lectures, tea talks and tastings. A limited quantity of teas are available via mail order.
Tea is a traditional, unique, and elegant gift for yourself or others. It is great for vitality and induces a state of mental calm and appreciation of life. Scientific studies document exceptional health benefits. Follow the custom of true tea connoisseurs: educate your palate by enjoying the best. The better the tea, the more layers and dimensions of taste and aroma. For more information about tea, visit the Way of Tea page.
Because of my direct contact with merchants, farmers, and connoisseurs and a commitment to fair pricing, I am able to offer my favorite teas at a fraction of their usual cost, underselling many tea shops in China. Tea orders will include details about tea preparation, Chinese tea ceremony, and storage. Supplies are limited.
We only offer single-estate loose-leaf teas, grown on sustainable farms or picked from wild tea trees in high, misty mountains. Unlike machine cut commercial tea, fine teas are harvested by hand, at least 2,000 pickings to make one pound of tea. The quality of each leaf is carefully checked. Many teas are rolled, twisted, or folded to create a gradual release of flavor and aroma as the leaves open in the hot water.
White Tea is made from a cultivar that, as it dries naturally in the air, produces a refreshing aroma.
Yunnan Wild White Tea. White tea is most famous in Fujian Province, but the Jing Gu region of Yunnan, the historical home of tea, also has rare, wild tea trees that produce this extraordinarily refreshing brew. Made from exquisite sun-dried tea buds that look like small flowers, the scent and taste are reminiscent of ancient pine trees with a scattering of ferns on the forest floor. Soothing to body and mind, this tea will retain its flavor for years. 150 grams (nearly 1/3 lb) $38
Green Tea is dried more quickly to “seal in” the flavor, yielding a beautiful color and vegetal aroma.
Buddha Wisdom Green. An organic green tea grown in small quantities behind a Buddhist temple in the mountains of Zhejiang Province. Virtually unknown today, it won a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. A pure, fresh taste with a surprising aromatic finish, hinting of clover and peach. New Spring 2019 Harvest. 100 grams, $48
Ancient Forest Green. The Jing Mai Mountains in southern Yunnan Province are home to an ancient organic tea forest that since the Song Dynasty has been sustainably harvested by the original Bulang and Dai tribal people. The 50 ft. wild tea trees grow amidst medicinal herbs and share their rich healing qi. Not your usual green tea, this one combines vegetal green with smoky pine and amber notes. 1⁄4 lb $28
Organic Chinese Matcha. (powdered green tea, “mo cha” in Chinese) similar to the ground tea that was most common in ancient China and mentioned in the classic of Chinese herbal medicine, the Ben Cao Gang Mu. Excellent for lei cha (pestle tea) in which powdered tea is mixed and whisked with powdered or ground nuts, seeds, and flavorings such as ginger (a kind of ancient Chinese trail food). You will need a whisk to dissolve and froth it in the water. $30 for 1⁄4 lb. (compare with similar grade Japanese Matcha at $25- $50/oz)
Oolong Tea–partially oxidized–has the greatest variety of flavor, from a floral “Zinfandel” to rich “Bordeaux”.
Phoenix Honey Orchid. This Phoenix tea is smooth, complex, with unique dark, campfire notes, and filled with qi, life force. The aroma, taste, and lingering aftertaste are like a mix of sandalwood perfume, exotic fruit, and a breeze blowing through a forest of blossoming peach trees. You will feel grounded and enlivened, like a deeply rooted tree opening its arms the warmth of the morning sun. 150 grams $70
Fragrant Branch Oolong. (Huang Zhi Xiang) This dark, lightly roasted Oolong comes from leaves that catch the dawn sunlight diffusing through mountains mists. It warms the body and mind. Initial aroma: an enchanting sweet mix of apricot and peach. Subsequent steeping brings notes of distant orange blossoms and orchids. Finally, a smooth taste of autumn woods. Gathered from tea trees more than 100 years old at 3,000 ft elevation in the Phoenix Mountains of Guangdong, close to Chaozhou, considered by many to be the birthplace of Chinese tea culture. 150 grams $70
Jade Mountain. New. Exceptional Spring 2019 Harvest, best in many years! Pure Mountain Qi (Life Force). From Jade Mountain, which at more than 12,000 ft. is the highest mountain in Taiwan. The rich greenery makes the mountain shine like precious jade. Sourced from a Taoist Tea Master who, with her daughters, carefully harvests and crafts this exceptional tea. When you drink this tea, you drink the mountain: with the first steeping, you will be almost overwhelmed by the entrancing aroma of wild flowers. The second and subsequent steepings include lingering notes of pine trees, meadows, granite and refreshing mountain breezes. 150 grams $85
Cassia Cliff Oolong. (Rou Gui) This cliff tea (yan cha) from the Wuyi Mountains is roasted and lightly twisted into an elegant shape. It yields a red colored brew that has a distinct fullness and a sweetness like burgundy wine flavored with honey, roasted cherries, and chocolate, very similar to the famous Big Red Robe Tea, but at a fraction of the cost. This classic tea, crafted since the Qing Dynasty, has yan yun, the rhythm and vitality of pristine mountains. It retains its aroma and taste through multiple steepings. The energy of the tea is strong, exotic, and warming. 150 grams $75
About Wuyi Oolong Teas: According to noted TeaMaster Yuan Zicai: “When you drink Wuyi Oolong Tea, arrogance is eliminated, impatience is removed, temper is softened, and mood is elevated.”
Tie Guanyin is the most famous banquet tea used to honor and inspire special guests (or oneself), with a flavor ranging from floral to smoky. In ancient times, a poor farmer found an abandoned temple with a beautiful iron (tie) statue of the Goddess of Compassion (Guanyin) enshrined on its altar. He began making regular trips to the temple to fix it up, offering flowers, incense and prayer. One day, a year later, Guanyin appeared to him in a dream and said that to reward the farmer for his piety, she would give him a precious treasure the next day. Following her dream instructions, he discovered a rare tea plant with an amazing, blissful taste.
Guan Yin: Buddhist symbol of compassion, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City (photo by Ken Cohen)
Cloud Forest Tie Guanyin 2017 Winter harvest. The tranquility of a tropical forest drifting in and out of the morning mist. Spring teas are like a young person, full of energy, leaving a strong first impression. Winter teas are mature, slow growing, and their influence is longer lasting. This tea is grown according to the specifications of Master Zhang, who brought the first Tie Guanyin seeds from Fujian Province to Muzha, Taiwan during the late Qing Dynasty. I purchased this tea directly from his grandson. A direct link with generations of tea masters going all the way back to the dream and inspiration of Guan Yin. In Taiwan’s National Oolong Contest, this tea artist won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for his various varieties of Tie Guanyin. This is a great price for the 2nd place winner (1st place is 3X the price!) 150 grams $89
Tie Guanyin 30% Roasted Oolong. The leaves from this Taiwan Oolong are repeatedly rolled and twisted before traditional charcoal roasting, so that as the leaves slowly open with each steeping, they release their hidden gifts. At first, the taste and aroma of ripe fruit, with a slightly woodsy astringency. By the second, third, and subsequent steeping, the amber brew is smooth and rounded, with a hint of sweet honey. 150 grams $85
Often compared to single malt scotch, puerh is an acquired taste, but once acquired, never forgotten. It can be green (also called "fresh" or sheng in Chinese) or allowed to age and become a dark, peaty, “ripe” (shu) puerh. The green is musky and aromatic with dimensions of flavor and aroma that change with each steeping; the ripe is peaty and famous for its soothing effects on digestion. Puerh Tea comes from a large leaf varietal of the same plant that produces white, green, and oolong tea. It is found only in Yunnan Province, the original home of tea.
Puerh Tea is generally compressed into a round "cake" or rectangular "brick," from which the leaves are easily removed for steeping using a butter knife. In ancient China compressed cakes were a necessity because of ease of transport. A pound of tea can fit into a large, bulky bag or compressed into a one inch thick cake, easily stacked one on the other. Compressed cakes or bricks have an additional advantage. The outside of the cake/brick interacts with the air around it-- oxidizing-- more than the interior. Different oxidation levels create differences in taste and aroma. Thus, when portions of the cake are broken and steeped, there is a richer and more layered sensual experience.
Green (Sheng) Puerh
Banzhang Ancient Tree Green Puerh (2006). Banzhang is one of the most sought after Puerh teas, the leaves picked from ancient trees, 400, 500 and even 1,000 years old, growing at 6,000 ft. elevation. Woodsy, bold, complex, slightly bitter, with notes of tobacco and fallen leaves. Banzhang Village in the Bulang Mountains of southwest Yunnan Province, has been officially producing tea since the late 1400s. However, the Bulang (also known as Hani) tribe has been in the area for more than 2000 years, and tea has probably always been an essential part of their nature-based culture. 250 gram compressed tea “brick” $59.
Banzhang Imperial Gold Fresh Puerh. Picked entirely in the early spring of 2013, then compressed into small domes (tuo cha), this is the tea of Kung Fu Masters and Buddhist Monks. Strong tea qi that spreads throughout the body, without being localized in any particular region (some teas send qi specifically to the feet, the abdomen, etc.). With notes of wood, musk, amber and sandalwood, this tea causes the mind to become tranquil and enter the realm of “Form is not different from Emptiness.” (from a Buddhist text called The Heart Sutra), that is, the everyday becomes the realm of enlightenment. 100 grams mushroom shape compressed tea $35 Note: This tea is much more tightly compressed than any of our other puerh teas. It will take a sharp implement and some effort to break it apart, but well worth the effort!
Purple Dawn Puerh Autumn (2013). Great everyday green puerh, from rare purple hued leaves, the same healthy pigmentation found in grapes and rasberries. The deep golden brew has only slight astringency. An initial aroma of magnolia, lilac, and pine; later steeping produces a pure woodsy taste, with a refreshing and cooling quality. The qi is gently penetrating, going to the heart and then then spreading through the rest of the body. Grown at an elevation of more than 4500 feet in the famous Menghai region of Yunnan. This tea is crafted under the direct supervision of one of the most famous Puerh Tea Masters in China, “Mr. Old Comrade,” Zhou Bingliang, who began his career as a co-founder of the famed Menghai Tea Factory in 1957. 200 gram tea cake, $75
Bada Spring Forest Fresh Puerh. From wild tea trees in southwest Yunnan Province, where high mountains, humidity and rolling mist make a great tea environment. More plant qi and less mountain qi than most green puerhs, this one is like a stroll through a tropical forest, with hanging moss, creeping vines, rich undergrowth, and moist earth. Slight astringency, with a hint of wild rose in the background. 2015 early spring picking. If you store it in a breathable basket or cloth bag, it will age well and develop even more character (and value) over time. 200 gram cake $48
Bulang Autumn Mountain Green Puerh. Harvested in 2016 by members of the Bulang Tribe, probably the first in the world to grow tea, at an average of 4,500 foot elevation in small tea gardens fed by pure mountain water. Here 20 to 30-year old plants have had a chance to spread roots and absorb minerals from the rich soil. Bulang puerhs are noted for an initial bitterness and vegetal astringency mixed with woodsy notes. When you finish the tea and smell the cup, you will be delighted by the subtle background of musk, sandalwood and rose. The second infusion includes notes of damp leaves and earth after rain. The taste gets smoother with each steeping. 100 gram cake $39
Yi Wu Mountain Wild Green Puerh (2002). Picked entirely from wild tea trees in the early spring, stone pressed into perfect cakes, and then stored carefully for 10 years in Xishuangbanna, where the tropical air is perfect for correct aging of Puerh Tea (like storing cigars in a humidor). Gorgeous golden amber brew, with initial earthy and spicy notes, followed by magnolia and honey sweetness. Complex, yet smooth, with strong balance of earth, forest, and mountain qi. Exceptional price for a 16 year old tea cake of this quality: 380 g cake $135
Yi Wu Mountain Wild Green Puerh (2010). Wild teas, compared to terraced or farmed, are increasingly rare, as they are harder to find and more labor-intensive to pick. This aged Puerh is from the most famous tea mountain of Yunnan Province, where the leaves are still traditionally stone pressed (instead of by machine) into these beautiful round cakes. Yiwu Mountain Puerh (2,600 to 6,500 feet elevation) has an initial aroma of tree bark and stone, followed by a subtle sweetness (hui gan) that may include hints of licorice or sandalwood. The brewed tea is a red amber color. This vintage tea has been carefully aged, wrapped in bamboo leaves, so that now, after more than seven years, it is an extraordinarily smooth puerh. 357 grams compressed teacake. 357 gram cake $85
Big Snow Mountain Green Puerh. Exceptional 2014 harvest, entrancing aroma, taste, and look, each cake hand-crafted from tea trees that grow wild along the “waist” of these high mountains. Unlike many tea cakes, the steeped leaves are full, dark green, undamaged by compression and storage. Smooth, only slightly dry, without bitterness (unless you over-steep). Initial notes are green, vegetal, and moist earth on a summer morning; second steeping adds sandalwood, musk, flowering trees, and a hint of pine. All of these aromas and tastes are perfectly blended into one unified experience. Close your eyes and take your time smelling the moist leaves to appreciate the delightfully complex mix of images and sensations. The color of the infusion ranges from sunshine yellow to golden amber. The pure qi of this tea will turn you into a tea tree! Rare: only 4 cakes left. 357 gram cake $75
Wuliang Mountain Wild Green Puerh. A loose-leaf green puerh (not a compressed tea cake) from 2008. Good everyday tea, not as complex as other puerhs, notes of humid forest, with slight campfire smokiness and gentle muskiness associated with the camphor tree. The tea is warming and leaves a slight astringency in the mouth. This high mountain, wild puerh was picked in the Wuliang Mountain Nature Reserve, a remote area of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, well known for rich flora such as fragrant evergreens (Pine and Laurel), Magnolia, and Rhododendron and rare wildlife: black gibbon, leopard, tiger, and sambar deer. 1⁄4 lb. $35
Ripe (Shu) Puerh
Bulang Ancient Forest Ripe Puerh (2012). Stunningly beautiful certified organic compressed tea cake that produces a mahogany (reddish-brown) brew. Imagine walking through a lush semi-tropical forest after a long gentle rain: dense woods with overhanging shade that does not permit much undergrowth, producing a mushroom-like aroma of moist earth, a hint of pepper spice in the distance. Now imagine recapturing the entire sensual experience in a cup of tea—the aromas, the taste of the air, the touch of soft earth and tree bark, the sound of gentle footsteps. This is how great this dark puerh is. Not overpowering, but smooth and fulfilling. The leaves picked from ancient forest trees, not from a plantation. The packaging states “These ancient tea trees, found deep within these great mountains, growing amidst clouds and mist, have breathed the spirit-qi (ling qi 靈氣) of Heaven and Earth for hundreds of years.” My favorite ripe puerh. 357 g tea cake $99
Interesting Fact: Puerh that is picked fresh and green (sheng) and allowed to naturally age gets better and more expensive over time, a “drinkable antique.” A mid- 20th century Puerh recently sold in Hong Kong for more than $200,000. U.S.
Dark Tea (Hei Cha) is a unique black tea made from a fermented and fully oxidized leaf, with a slightly sweet aftertaste.
Liu An Bamboo Basket. In a class by itself, some people consider this a hei cha (dark tea) even though it is crafted like a Puerh. Picked in Anhui Province in 2006, this spectacular tea has been aged in a bamboo basket covered with bamboo leaves. The taste is a cross between a green tea and a roasted oolong tea, with bamboo fragrance in the background. Liu An Tea was a favorite medicinal tonic during the Ming Dynasty. Woodsy, expansive, and smooth, with a honeycomb aroma lingering in the cup. 250 gram (8.8 oz.) basket $53
Dark Rose Tea. Rose petals are added to the dark tea and compressed into approx. 1 inch (5 gram) heart-shaped pieces. Full bodied perfectly blended flavor and aroma. Meditation and Romance all in one! Bag of 30 hearts (about 1/3 lb.), enough for 50-60 cups of tea, $25
First send an email with a list of the items and quantity you would like to order to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-985-6445. Be sure to include your name, mailing address, and phone number. We will reply shortly to confirm that the items are in stock, the total cost, and instructions how to pay. We accept PayPal, Credit Card, and personal checks or money orders (US only).
Shipping Within the U.S. By priority mail (secure and trackable): Orders up to $70, add $8. Orders $70+ add $12.
International, including Canada. Airmail shipping cost varies by weight. International post is generally safe and reliable, but please note that because of varying customs regulations, we cannot be responsible for lost items.
All orders receive detailed instructions on tea preparation and storage. Prices and availability are subject to change. If we cannot fill your order as requested, we will contact you to offer, according to your choice, a substitution or refund. Because U.S. law classifies tea as a food item, once ordered we cannot accept returns.
Ken Cohen offers “tea talks" including lectures and tastings for private groups, tea-houses, and conferences. For more information, visit the Tea Talks and Tastings page.