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Unexpected Tea Growth in the 2024 Yunnan Tea Season

[2024.06.08] Posted By

After completing an extensive procurement trip in Yunnan Province, I am currently staying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Due to the need for detailed arrangements, such as evaluating the imported tea and preparing shipments for overseas, I plan to remain at the Kuala Lumpur office until next month.
This year, I had the opportunity to stay in Yunnan Province from the beginning of the season in March until its conclusion. Therefore, I will reflect on the tea situation in Yunnan Province this year.

The year 2024 experienced exceptionally high temperatures compared to previous years.

This year’s tea season was anticipated to have delayed sprouting due to the many dry days following the Chinese New Year. However, the temperatures were exceptionally high compared to previous years. By late March, the weather was warm enough to wear short sleeves during the day.

Contrary to expectations, the warm climate caused young tea plants at elevations around 2000 meters being ready for harvest by late March. Around the Qingming Festival in early April, tea picking was in full swing.

During the first half of April, we concentrated on producing wild tea and white tea. By around April 15, we had nearly completed the essential production of white tea and wild tea (for both wild white tea and wild pu-erh raw tea).

The rapid and simultaneous growth of the tea caused a panic in both tea picking and processing!

After April 15, we planned to focus on producing Pu-erh raw tea. However, the weather began to change around that time, bringing a week of cloudy and rainy days. In particular, significant rainfall was observed in the mountainous areas, leading to unexpected situations.

The combination of unusually high temperatures and abundant moisture caused the tea plants, including those in high-altitude areas and old tea trees, to grow rapidly all at once. After April 22, the weather alternated between cloudy and sunny days, but the rapid growth of the tea plants did not stop. As a result, many tea gardens could not keep up with the harvest, leaving large amounts of tea unpicked. This situation led to increased pressure on tea farmers and processors, who struggled to manage the overwhelming volume of tea leaves that needed to be picked and processed within a limited timeframe.

Additionally, tea processing facilities were suddenly overwhelmed with large quantities of tea, leading to near all-night operations on a daily basis. The facilities operated at maximum capacity to handle the in-coming fresh tea leaves


After mid-April, the tea processing yards were crowded daily with the large influx of tea.

As a result of the rapid and simultaneous growth of the tea, the tea season was almost over by the end of April. Considering that the harvest continued until nearly June in 2019, this year’s tea growth was quite unusual. By May, only a small amount of tea from very old trees and purple tea was still being picked, and even that was completed by the first week of May. The early end of the tea season was unexpected and caught many experienced tea makers by surprise.



Many people, exhausted from the work, fell asleep while frying tea.

It was a challenging year for those who sought to procure tea during the latter half of the season.

Therefore, while this year’s harvest wasn’t necessarily poor, the intense overlap of the harvesting period and a week of rain during the peak season resulted in tea picking and processing falling behind. Consequently, the quantity of processed tea remained very low. In fact, I believe those who sought to procure tea after mid-April encountered an exceedingly limited supply.

The newly produced tea will undergo a light aging process and is scheduled for release around August.

Having stayed from the beginning to the end of the season and having pre-booked all the necessary tea in advance, we successfully secured the planned quantity of tea. Despite the irregular growth patterns, we are satisfied with the quality of this year’s tea leaves, which we find to be fairly good and comparable to previous years.
Presently, the tea shipped in April is gradually arriving. Our plan is to lightly age it in an oxygen-free environment for a few months before releasing the new tea in succession.

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