April 2020, forgotten old tea trees from Menglian area
Refresh your mouth with its floral fragrance
Enjoy the light and crispy liquor, similar to a green tea
Sweat to the robust Chaqi
Lafu is located in the South West of Menglian county, at the Burmese border. It's Northwest of Jingmai. The place is unremarkable at first. It is by no means a touristy place. The small road that carries us for a three hour long ride from menglian displays different landscapes. The region grows a wide variety of crops, we saw rubber trees, coffee, paddy rice and tea. The tea grown there is of the most common kind： basic plantation used to produce cheap green or black tea.
Yet, we weren't driving to nowhere blind, we had a tip from a retired government worker in Menglian: 'there is good tea in Lafu area, but it's hidden in the forest, by the side of the lake'.
This day was a lucky hunt for these truly forgotten old tea trees. The story is told in this video:
We met a really cool guy who was brewing rice liquor while eveybody else was out in the field harvesting rice. We arranged a test batch in Autumn 2019 and the tea was well received by our customers. We ordered more for the Spring 2020 season.
We couldn't visit him at the time he was making tea, we were busy in Jingmai making our own. But the wonders of the internet allow guidance through video talk. The guy is a fast learner anyway, the processing is pretty good, despite him having a limited experience.
The tea is on the green side, which gives it a refreshing and vivid personality. It is not astringency and bitterness is fairly low. You will enjoy the flowery fragrance which reminds of jasmine and osmanthus.
Beyond that 'green tea' personality, you will experience a well-layered tea. The texture is smooth and the soup has a bite that makes you want to have another cup. You'll get a decent Huigan and enjoy a silky texture as the leaves open up.