Spring Travels 2019: A Great Discovery for Jasmin
China specialist, Jasmin has covered six of China’s producing regions since 2003, tasting and selecting teas of every style. He usually spends between 3 and 6 weeks each year visiting as many producers as possible. This year, for his 17th spring on the road, he wanted to explore with more flexibility, based on the climate. This allowed him, among other things, to play a more active role as a tea-maker - With our Tea Studio Project in India, it was an opportunity to actually dive into tea processing!
His first observation upon arrival: a Spring with extreme temperature variations. The Eastern part of the country had received all the rain and significant temperature differences, leading to tea trees growing a little too fast, while the dry climate of the West resulted in smaller quantities, but incredible flavours.
Exploratory Mission in the East
This year, Jasmin was accompanied by Laurence, tea advisor at our store in Quebec City. They started their journey by visiting the Wang family in the capital of Xishuangbanna: for Jasmin, it is always a sincere pleasure to see families grow over the years. They then explored to the mountains of Xishuangbanna through Youle, Yibang, Yiwu and falling in love with Mr. Lei's Pu Er 2019 Yibang Man Cong. Jasmin and Laurence also had the opportunity to enjoy a magical with the producer, surrounded by tea trees several hundred years old, and where the food had been grown by Mr. Lei himself. Unbelievable!
They then left to explore the North through Pu Er County to visit the producer of our organic Yunnan Da Ye. A large part of the trip to Yunnan had a specific objective: find a young Pu Er Sheng to expand our selection with more affordable options. Their journey took them to several remote areas of the region to explore new gardens. A good overview of northern Yunnan (Mengku, Shuang Jiang, Ban Dong, Gui Xi, Yongde and Dashan) has also allowed them to sort out the region for future in depth explorations.
A visit to Mr. Liu in Yongde, a region specializing mainly in Pu Er Shou, has been particularly fruitful. After tasting about ten Pu Er Shou of all ages, they had a revelation for a young one demonstrating all the quality of the factory. A revelation! In only one sip, they were able to realize the quality of work. Coming soon by the end of the summer.
Jasmin continued the rest of the journey alone, in Eastern China (Zhejiang, Fujian). He had the most magical time on a sunny day visiting Mr. He's newly certified organic garden in Jinging. Two evenings to produce tea with the producer followed to improve his knowledge of tea processing.
The trip ended in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, where he had the unique opportunity to taste his first "Red Mark" (produced in the 1950's). More than 15 infusions (! ) 'The Chi of this tea is simply unforgettable!'
Here are his three favorite teas this spring:
Dejiang Long Zhu
Coming straight from a new garden project perched at 1,200 meters above sea level in eastern Guizhou, this tea harvested from 5-year-old seedlings of the Fuding Da Bai cultivar was grown without chemicals, as confirmed by the results of our laboratory tests in Shanghai this year. Its name (De Jian Long Zhu) refers to the young shoots packed with buds rolled into small pearls that make up this everyday green tea. A bold and frankly vegetable liquor, evoking the taste of snow peas. Fruity and empyreumatic accents (smoked mussels) complete the tasting of this accessible, thirst quenching tea.
Jingning Yin Zhen
From the expert hands of Mr He, this superb white tea is of uniform, smooth and fine buds. The infusion offers rich flavors of oats, fruit (ripe banana) and flowers, nuanced in the mouth by a peppery accent. Its rosy liquor is sweet, oily and full. Well balanced, it evolves to a minty and thirst quenching finish. To be savoured in tranquillity...
This lot is exclusive to our tea house and produced according to our specifications.
Xin Yang Mao Jian
From tea bushes cultivated on the region’s highest mountains, this renowned tea is produced from a fine harvest of delicate buds. The smooth, cloudy liquor has a fruity and floral bouquet reminiscent of litchi. Upon tasting, this bright cup reveals its astringency, distinctness, and aromatic complexity. The floral and herbaceous notes run from toasted hazelnuts to straw, leaving a fresh miny finish. A fortifying and generous tea.
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