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Spring 2024 Na Lang


Spring 2024, medium-big trees from forested gardens
Na Lang village, Nyot Ou District, Laos
A powerful Yiwu-style tea with great endurance 


This year, we received the visit of a team from the NGO we work for in Laos. We took them to the tea mountains over a week-long trip. Their goal is to set up tea factories in the villages and help the farmers process tea properly, then find a good market for the tea. It was a week of intense discussion, we had a great time going over the business plan, the technicalities of tea production, and the treacheries of accounting. 

During this trip, I met Thongsavanh, a very smart young guy who will be in charge of managing future tea factories. He comes from a village we've never visited, not far from the main town. This village also has old tea gardens growing in the forest. Thongsavanh brought sample during his trip, and we enjoyed it very much. After his return to Laos, he sent us a couple of boxes. This is tea made from his family gardens and processed by himself. 

This is typically the kind of tea you would find in Gua Feng Zhai for twice the price. The point of this tea is not the fragrance, but the good thickness in the soup and the deep Huigan. 


Nyot Ou district, the hidden face of Yiwu tea


nyot ou town

Nyot Ou belongs to Phongsaly province, in Laos. It borders with Yiwu Mountain, in China.
china-laos border near yiwu

Considering the renown of Yiwu tea, and the high prices its tea fetch, it is not surprising that many tea traders cross the border to Laos and source tea from Nyot Ou district. As a result, most of the tea made in Nyot Ou is bought by tea producers from Yiwu.

Tea grows in the forests of Nyot Ou district along two valleys. The Southern valley is connected to Gua Feng Zhai village through a small road. The environment in which tea grows is similar in Eastern Yiwu and in the two tea producing valleys of Nyot Ou District. Ancient tea trees grow along more recently established gardens in the forests.
forest tea in laos

Laos tea is infamous for its poor processing. In the last couple of years, some tea farmers have improved their technique and upgraded their tea factories to meet the standards of Yiwu tea. The teas produced are of similar quality and offer a better value than proper Yiwu leaves.

The tea in this area is mostly made of large leaves with furry buds. It has a soft taste and features a great body feel. Experienced tea enthusiasts in China, especially in Guangdong Province, are always on the look for such teas, this is what made the reputation of Yiwu. At a first cup, the tea are not always impressive, but over the session, the Cha Qi builds up and makes you feel very relaxed.
yubai holding a tea leaf

We’ve worked in Nyot Ou area with a French NGO since 2018, our mission is to improve the tea quality made in the district. We’ve conducted training sessions on tea processing, and frequently give advice on tea garden management and factory set up.
training session in laos

We source tea from two farmers we worked with during our missions in Laos.

The mayor of Seo Pen, the village closest to Gua Feng Zhai, is experienced in the tea trade. He put efforts into improving the infrastructure of his village. He has build a good tea factory and studied puerh tea processing extensively. He collects a good part of the fresh leaves harvested in his village and processes them to a good standard.

Houngkeo works for the french NGO (Comite de cooperation du Laos), and is in charge of conducting training sessions on puerh tea processing. He goes back home every spring season to make tea in his village, Huey Wa, located in the Northern valley.
houngkeo training farmers

We’re happy to offer teas from Laos with a good processing, this region has a good potential and will increase in value as the infrastructure develops and renown increases.