2020 Yiwu Jiu Miao
In a lineup of 200g cakes, we wanted to make a big cake that we can drink freely without feeling like it's going to run out soon.
This tea from Jiu Miao fulfils this purpose & I find myself reaching for it with surprising regularity for my morning tea sessions. It's not from the oldest trees - relatively small and spindly, but they are growing in the forest - untended and interspersed among the undergrowth. We're generally of the view that environment is more important than the age of the trees. Of course everyone loves ancient tree tea and they make for good photos, but if the environment isn't good even the tea from huge ancient trees isn't nice to drink. Conversely, with perfect environment, even small trees punch well above their weight.
This tea surprised us - it came as a casual sample from a friend as we were just about to leave Yiwu. We had asked him to keep his eyes out for good forest teas and had tried a few that weren't so interesting. This one stood out straight away. It was so comfortable to drink it - very clean, pure, nice thickness, aftertaste and comfortable energy. When we heard the price, it shocked us - in an area of super high prices, this was a refreshing change.