Autumn 2018 Yiwu Gao Shan Zhai

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Autumn 2018 ancient tea gardens

Gao Shan Zhai village, Yiwu Mountain, Xishuangbanna

Elegant sweetness from a classic terroir


 


We're happy to offer this tea, Yiwu is a place where the good stuff is hard to acquire. Gao Shan Zhai, one of the famous Yiwu villages, located North-West of the main town at an altitude of 1200m.

While tea in Southern Yunnan is largely grown by ethnic minorities, Yiwu has Han villages, including Gao Shan Zhai. The ethnic making of the region has an impact on the tea trade. Yiwu was connected to the rest of China long before Jingmai or Lao Banzhang got famous. This is why it is so hard to get good material from Yiwu: they have long standing connections in the city and most of the high quality material is booked in advance.

In 2018, we had the chance to connect with Philip, a Scotsman who married a woman from Gao Shan Zhai. We shot a video back then in which we talk about the Yiwu terroir:

 

We had the chance to meet again in Xishuangbanna and it was an opportunity to browse his collection of Yiwu teas. Yiwu tea always deserves a bit of aging, this is why we picked this autumn 2018 tea, made in Philip's farm.

yiwu pu-erh tea cake

As you can see the leaves appear red, this is due to the two years of aging and the processing which, as is common in Yiwu, is on the redder side. The tea soup will show a dark yellow to medium orange, depending on how strong you brew it.

You get the typical Yiwu character with herbaceous fragrance, very few bitterness, if any at all, and a heavy sweetness that accumulate on the gums as the session goes. The Cha Qi is very calming and relaxing, the tea will carry you over at least ten brews, which is pretty good for an autumn tea.

This tea can be enjoyed grandpa-style, it will hardly turn bitter, however, we recommend a gongfu set and an hour of your time if you want the full experience.

 

yiwu tea in cup