Friday, March 31, 2017

Experiencing the tea-nature connection in a tea plantation

This tea plantation in San Hsia is special for me for 2 reasons. First, it's one of the closest one to my house, just half an hour away by car. Second, I've known its farmer for over 10 years and have regularly purchased his Bi Luo Chun.

And since green tea is the harvested before Oolong (because you want buds and not mature leaves), it's always one of the first plantations I visit every spring. This has enabled me to have a very close relationship with this farmer (and now his son who is taking over the work).
I also have a free access to his plantation to take pictures and even to brew tea! And since there was no spring 2017 BiLuoChun available, I brewed a Wenshan Baozhong from spring 2016, because it's a tea that is grown in very similar conditions in the north of Taiwan.
I'm using a bowl to brew this wood fired bowl by David Louveau, because it's the simplest brewing method. It's a good fit for green teas or fresh Baozhongs, because they don't mind the water cooling quickly. This underlines their light aromas.
This 'tea on the plantation' experience probably looks like a dream come true for most of you. In reality, it's not that comfortable, because there's no place to sit and I quickly got bitten by a hungry bug or mosquito. That's why I planned to brew tea simply in a bowl with earth like colors and drink it in big light celadon cups.
But what makes this brewing so interesting is that the tea felt exactly like the air I was breathing on the plantation. The osmanthus aromas of the tea were echoing the sweet flowery scents of San Hsia in spring. It confirmed just how tea is recording the scents of its surroundings with high fidelity!
This is what makes green tea and lightly oxidized tea so pleasant to enjoy at home. They connect us to this feeling of being surrounded by nature in spring!
Spring is in my cup!

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