This tea was sourced from the remote forests of Eastern Yiwu. As you know, we've worked on the Laotian side of the border for a couple of years and regularly source teas from the Nyot Ou district. This season, it's time to get back on the other side of the border and explore the area located between the Han village group (Luo Shui Dong, Mahei, Da Qi Shu) and the Yao villages (Ding Jia Zhai and Gua Feng Zhai). There is a kind of no man's land between those, were the forests have thrived. A long time ago, tea trees were cultivated in the area, and for some unspecified reasons, they were abandoned.
Fortunately, the tea trees are strong, and many have survived in the natural forests. With the Puerh tea boom in the mid 2000s, these abandoned gardens became highly valuable. Hunting parties would explore the forests in search of hidden treasures.
The area is vast, and it takes time to uncover the gardens. This is one of the reasons why new Yiwu garden names sprout every year, this is an advancing front of discovery.
San Jia Zhai is not a particularly famous garden (yet). We haven't had the opportunity to visit it. According to the producer, the garden is located East of his village, between Bai Sha He and Cha Wang Shu gardens. If true, this is indeed a wild area, with no human activity around.
What you find in the cup matches the claim of the producer. The tea starts soft, with a hint of sourness, something characteristic of forest grown tea, especially when young, this trait will likely vanish as the tea ages. The aroma is subtle in the nose, and expansive in the back of the mouth. Some cooling effect can be felt in the throat, but neither the fragrance nor the taste is relevant when it comes to this type of tea. Here, this is all about the Cha Qi. This tea makes you relaxed, after a few cups, you want to take deep breaths and chill in a fat sofa.
If you are not sensitive to the effect of tea on the body, I would not recommend this tea, the tasting profile is nice, but it's only the cherry on top here.