Ai Gong has set up a nice tea factory in his home, he started in 2010, just like us, we've known each other for that long. On this sunny day of late March, we were sipping tea as his family was picking the tea in the gardens. His best plot is located on Ai Leng mountain, a steep peak with a distinct shape. The leaves in Mangjing are smaller than the ones that grow in Jingmai, the varietal is probably slightly different, despite the close distance between our respective mountains.
As the pickers returned home, we collected their leaves and heated up the wok. We processed the leaves with the technique used in our Jingmai factory: hot start and warm finish, enough steaming to ensure a 20-minute-session and enough moisture left in the leave not to overcook them.
We came back the next day to collect the leaves, 18kg of the best 'gushu' material you can get in Mangjing. The tea shares a common character with our jingmai gulan, but it has a different fragrance, more minerality (probably due to the higher amount of old trees in the gardens) and a somewhat more aggressive profile. Jingmai and Mangjing are like two brothers with different personalities.
You will get your money's worth with this tea.