Monday, September 1, 2008

Wuniuzao Buying Expedition

I went with my friend into the hills of Wuniu village to purchase some of the tea of the same name for sale in his shop. There are small tea gardens all over Wuniu. It is not the same as large tea producing areas in China. Wuniuzao is not a internationally or even nationally famous tea. While it is certainly far from unknown, most of it is sold locally. Because of this, you wont find the same sort of monoculture you would find in places like Anxi(where Tieguanyin is produced) or many places in Yunnan, for example. Even in other parts of Wenzhou, specifically Taishun and parts of western Yueqing where Yandang maofeng has much larger areas of concentrated tea cultivation. The second picture is a Buddhist temple with Wuniuzao in the foreground. This may or may not be grown by the monks, I did not inquire within.

After passing many beautiful sights on the road, we came upon the house of the farmer. Unfortunately the colour of the tea had turned a bit yellow. It was sweet, and still good green tea, but it is harder to sell if the colour is changed, especially when the buyer is giving it as a gift. Colour, leaf shape, entire leaves, as well as short young buds are all important.

Unfortunately, I left the house in a hurry, and neglected to change the camera batteries, so after attempting to take one picture, I had to make do with my cell phone camera.

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