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Tang Jia Raw Pu-erh Tea is made from the spring tea grown in the west Lincang, at the altitude of 2000 to 2100m. Tang Jia means Tang Family in Chinese. This name comes from the family who owns the tea garden. Tang Jia tea garden is ancient tea garden with a vast number of huge tea trees, yet nobody pluck tea at all until 2018. The tea garden has been left unattended over the past 30 years.

Ancient Tea Garden left unattended for the past 30 years

Long ago Tang family was making a living on tea. However, ever since the present Mr. Tang succeeded the family, he has shifted his job into goat and cattle grazing. In Yunnan, the cattle and goats grazed with wild grass on high mountain area is in very high demand. In high mountain village, even the cattle grown in the cage is popular too. It can be as high as RMB10,000. We can easily imagine that grazed cattle in the wild field is much more expensive. Hence, the grazing business is very popular among the villagers. We noticed that quite a number of tea garden owners have left their tea garden and started to live on grazing cattle and goats.

In the beginning, Mr. Tang was expecting his wife to look after the tea farming and he concentrates in grazing. However, his wife was unwilling to go to tea garden since she has got sufficient income. Eventually, the tea gardens have been left for many years. A few years ago, Mr. Tang has divorced with his wife.

It is me trying to touch the baby goat.

Now Mr. Tang is now about 50 years old. He married a new wife. The new wife was a refugee who came from Guo Gan, Myanmar. Guo Gan is only about 50km away from Yunnan, and it was at civil war for quite some time. The battle was taking place between minorities and government forces. Due to the war, many villagers fled to Yunnan as refugee. In Zhenkang county where the border is directly connecting to Myanmar, we often run into them. Nowadays, it is quite common that villagers in Lincang get married with Myanmar ladies.

To everyone’s surprize, Mr. Tang’s new wife (above photo) was the person who works extremely hard. She was willing to go to the tea garden and clear the under-bush one by one. When other villagers realized, she has refresh Tang Jia tea garden within half a year. Because she worked so effectively, she became very famous among the neighbours. Nowadays, neighbours like to call Tang Jia Tea garden as Myanmar wife’s tea garden.

She has started to pluck tea since 2018. However, there were too many people who were interested in the teas from her garden. Since it has been left unattended for 30 years, all knows that her tea gives excellent taste. Due to the high popularity, I only managed to purchase very little quantity in 2018 and I introduced it in Malaysia. In 2019, I decided to rent her garden to secure the quality material for making our tea. My tea manufacturer happens to be the relative of Tang family. So, we speak to them through our manufacturer and succeeded to rent Tang Jia garden. Sadly, they only agree for one-year contract.

Following the local customs, if anyone rent a garden, they pay in one lump sum as the rental for a year. In addition, the tea plucking fee is also paid to tea pluckers according to the market rate. So basically, the rental fee will be the extra income for the owner of tea garden.

Tang Jia Tea Garden after Myanmar wife has taken care.

Ancient Tea Tree in Tang Jia Garden

Do you know that compression process affects a lot on quality?

From the experiences, we have learned that the compression process affects a lot to the quality of tea. We put a lot of efforts to manage the compression process.

After tea was processed into mao-cha (loose tea), we immediately bring it down from the mountain and send to tea compression factory in the town. Throughout many years of experience, we have learned the critical control point on tea compression. Now we are very clear about each detail that we need to manage on steaming, compression, drying and even the material of the mould.

For drying tea cake, the weather is a critical factor. We care a lot about the weather and never proceed the compression when the weather is not fine. We only work with the small-scale manufacturer so that they can carefully listen to our requirement and trying to fulfil it. I think we can produce very ideal cake not only on the shape but the flavour and taste too.

Very long lasting after taste that may make us tea drunk

Tang Jia raw pu-erh tea is medium body with very long-lasting aftertaste. For now, since tea is still fresh, the flavour tends to be milder. It gives sweet note that reminds me of sweet rice cake or fresh sugar cane.

This tea contains outstandingly high level of poly phenol thanks to the ancient tea tree, no fertilizer and high altitude. Based on my experience, tea with high poly phenol content ages well and faster. It would develop fruity and sweet honey flavour in a few years. We have kept a small amount of Tang Jia Raw Pu-erh tea we made in 2018. For now, it has aged very ideally and giving the flavour like fresh honey.

In addition to the Tang Jia Raw Pu-erh, we have also made two small batches of tea collected from three ancient trees from the Tang Jia tea garden, it is called the “Trible Trees Raw Pu-erh’, and only available in Malaysia.

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