For those of us unfamiliar with the term Taipan, it was the name given to the ex-pat businessmen who plied their trade in China and Hong Kong during the 19th century. The life of a Tai-pan back in those days was often exciting, as undiscovered trade routes were opened, patriotic, as territory was claimed for king and queen and luxurious, as they quickly amassed great fortunes on the frontiers of world commerce. Chunmee Taipan Superior, an exceptionally fine green tea grade was very much a product of this old world.Like any millionaire businessperson in any time period, the Taipans of old China enjoyed the deluxe trappings of wealth: sumptuous feasts, fine wines, racehorses and the like. In fact, they were probably solely responsible for the development of the luxury market for most products in the Far East. In an effort to reach this market, a tea grower at the time living in Hunan province decided to create what might be considered the first “luxury” tea developed for Western tastes.This tea maker determined that the Taipans and their tastes for the finer things in life must have highly refined palates. So, he knew that his tea would need to be sweetish and smooth. He also surmised, based on their apparent appreciation for Eastern art, that the Taipans must have an eye for beauty. So, he determined that the leaf style would need to be very fine and evenly graded. He also understood that if he priced his new tea too low, the perceived value would likewise be too low. So, he priced his tea high, much higher than the other grades he had on hand. His wife thought he crazy but from the first shipment to Hong Kong, he had a hit on his hands. The Tai-Pan businessmen loved it and quickly added it to their steady diet of Cuban cigars, caviar, Cognac and the like.The days of the old Tai-pan may be over, but this fantastic tea remains. Still manufactured according to the old techniques, this tea has a very fine, emerald leaf that infuses to produce a mild yellow-green liquor. The cup is sweet, with hints of an almost Sencha like clover-butteriness, grassy notes and a long exceptionally smooth finish. An incredible tea with an amazing story to match. Brew a pot and give your customers the deluxe treatment!