In the midst of our Spring 2017 production run, a relative of Yubai called us to ask if we wanted the harvest of his biggest trees. Those trees are located on a well-known spot, on the western end of Da Ping Zhang plateau, and receive the admiration of the tourists and tea enthusiats who visit Jingmai. We were quite surprised those trees weren't already booked by other tea makers and grabbed the opportunity. On the next day, we brought two pickers to the garden and harvested the flushing trees and spent the whole afternoon there, watching the pickers and chatting with the owner of the gardens. According to him, the trees can grow particularly old on this spot of the mountain because topographic features create a microclimate and spares the garden from the heavy hailstorms that can occasionally strike Jingmai.
We collected about 12kg of fresh leaves and went home. Yubai processed the tea entirely by hand for both sha qing and rolling, the leaves were then laid on bamboo baskets and dried in a couple of hours on the next day. We stored the tea as maocha in Puer city and had it pressed into 7g dragon balls during the Summer.
The dragon ball compression allows to keep the leaves intact, after a couple of brews, they just look like maocha. The first rinse can take some time, but be ready as soon as the ball opens up. This tea has a lot of power to release, some fast-changing bitterness and a very powerful Huigan. You shouldn't drink this tea in a hurry as you'll be able to keep the session going for over two hours. Prepare to get carried out by an intense Cha Qi!