Nanzuo is the smallest village on Jingmai Mountain, it is located off the beaten track, on the Northern edge of the mountain. It is inhabited by the Wa, an ethnic group that has been scattered by the chaos of history and is quite isolated.
Since their village is relatively hard to find, they don’t attract the many tourists who visit our mountain. To make matters worse, unlike the numerous Dai and Bulang who mainly populate Jingmai, the Wa of Nanzuo they are quite isolated socially, having no relatives in other villages, it is hard for them to rely on local trade. They mainly sell fresh leaves to the Dai of Nuogan village.
Yet, these hardships foster cooperation between the villagers. They tend to manage the gardens in a more conscientious manner than in the other villages. Since they arrived recently in the area, they don’t have a lot of ancient tea gardens. They spend their time growing the natural tea gardens on the upper slopes, as well as rice and corn in the low grounds. They don’t rely as much as the other villages on seasonal workers, they do most of the work themselves.
We’ve known You Guo for many years, he used to sell his fresh leaves to other producers. In 2019, he started his own tea factory, on the ground floor of his house. He spent a couple of days processing tea in our factory to learn our technique. Every year, we stock some of his teas for aging, it has a slightly different profile from our Jingmai Miyun. Even though the age of the trees is the same, the soil and microclimate are different. You’ll be able to taste the difference.
The gardens used to make this cake have taller than average tea trees. They grow on a rather flat land, surrounded by steep slopes and forests. High humidity, low temperatures and scarce sunlight characterize this garden.