Making tea in a tea village: Start with a fresh tea leaf bud
Slept in a tent at 6500 meters elevation and awoke to roosters and wet, cold ground, but I'm excited about the temperature difference I discovered because the higher the temperature during the day, the higher the activity of enzymes in the tea, which is conducive to the formation of organic matter; at night, the light is weak, respiration is greater than photosynthesis, the temperature is low, enzyme activity is low, and respiration consumes less organic matter. Therefore, tea accumulates more amino acids, polysaccharides, and aromatic substances, and the mist surrounding the tea mountains is a gift from nature. And when a drop of dew appears on the fleshy tea leaves, you know a good cup of tea is coming soon.
My standard for plucking is one leaf bud and two leaves, or three or four leaves; I will throw away the ones affected by insects, but also because I know those tea plants are growing naturally and wildly.
Another unforgettable journey was finding a tea factory to process the teas I picked. People from the village don’t understand what I want to do; even though they speak little Chinese, they don’t think I want to process the teas by myself. Most of them tried to lead me to a tea house (every family in this village makes their tea at home). Finally, a young man looked at my translation and was able to understand that I would like to process my teas in a tea factory by myself, even though my request is quite brave for a newbie tea maker.
After we arrived at the tea factory located outside the tea village, there was a tea master there. I won’t skip the chance to observe or learn from him. He was surprised by my arrival. He is more shocked, and I had a good amount of time to assist and learn from him. The hard part was picking the high-quality teas from a ton of them, but when your hands keep rolling the leaves, the fresh, sweet notes keep coming to you; you just can’t stop. and can’t stop the journey.