I am always on the hunt for the ultimate tea. I go all over China to places where literally no foreigner has gone before in my quest.
Once, for eample, I was in Anji, Zhejiang Province which is famous for Anji White Tea. I have always seemed the farm version on the market, but never heard of a wild version. I stayed in a sort of farmer’s inn on the mountain by a waterfall. The farmer began brewing Anji White Tea.
I asked him what it was and to my surprise he said this is “ye sheng cha” which means wild tea. I nearly fell off my seat as I never heard of a wild Anji White tea. I asked him for directions to where I could find it and quickly set off, but first finished my cup. Only after 20 minutes I found my first wild Anji White Tea.
The Difficulty of Wild Tea
Wild Tea is one that is hard to source especially for quantity, but ancient tree, which is still difficult to source is more abundant. I have always been on the hunt for good Moonlight White as I love it and so do all my female customers as they love the soft whiteness contrasted by the jet black on the back of the leaves. I have tasted many Moonlight Whites but this one guy I met who has a family tea plantation of ancient tea trees here in Yunnan, had something quite special.
His Moonlight White was nothing like I had ever seen before.
The quality of the buds and leaves was mesmerizing by the amount of soft, whiteness that filled the bag. The taste and smell was incomparable to any other. Then he pulled out a black tea which knocked my socks off. I am a huge fan of Yunnan Black Tea otherwise known as Dian Hong, as I love the chocolatey, sometimes coconutty and honey flavors that can come out of it, but this black tea was in a class by it’s own.
This guy’s team farm is something else too! Below is a picture of the young guy who runs the family farm and tea business, Zhang Tian. He is standing next to one of his ancient tea trees, which is actually small compared to some others he’s got.