Autumn 2019 old forested garden leaves
Tungkualinoy village, Nyot Ou district, Phongsaly Province, Laos
Taste the sweetness of the forest
This tea comes from the forests of Nyot Ou District, in which we've been working as consultants with an NGO since 2018. Tungkualinoy is one of the villages we've worked the most in, we even filmed an interview with the village headman:
The leaves were pressed in 100g cakes in a small factory we helped set up in the local town. We were sent the tea right after its pressing but we didn't release it right away on the website, the leaves were not ready to be enjoyed: too much 'Qingwei', a word used to describe the green taste of the fresh leaves that is supposed to be eliminated during the cooking step. The Sha Qing was on the lighter side, but time can make wonders.
Moving the tea stock to our new teashop was an opportunity to rediscover these teas that we had forgotten. The Tungkualinoy forest tea turned out to have a heavy sweetness, typical of good Yiwu teas. It is now ready to be enjoyed.
These teas are considered soft because they don't feature high bitterness and astringency, unlike the pu-erh teas from Menghai area. Yet, soft is not the right word to characterise those teas, they are powerful in their own way. You might not be impressed at the first brew, as would be common in a good Jingmai tea for example, but you will feel good once the session is over, with a lingering sweetness coating your gums well after you're done.