Sourcing Trip 2018 - China

Reuniting with Mr. Liao in Wuyi Mountain, China, for our sixth year in business partnership together, feels like coming home. As Silver Needle Tea Co’s first tea estate, they hold a special place in our history. Mr. Liao shares a tasting of their newest harvest. Many of our bestsellers, Big Red Robe, Wuyi Mountain Black Tea and Golden Beautiful Eyebrow, come from Wuyi Mountain.

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The rows of tea bushes right below this mountain are transformed into our Golden Beautiful Eyebrow. This close-up belies the intense 7000 ft. elevation - more than an hour drive upwards. As the elevation rises, so does the air quality and soil make-up. With a sub-tropical climate, Wuyi Mountain offers the most ideal growing place. While teas do survive in a broad range of conditions, the best quality tea leaves thrive in subtropical climates with some seasonality, like Wuyi Mountain and our other estates in Taiwan.

Wuyi Mountain

Wuyi Mountain

Loving every intoxicating inhalation of tea leaves on Wuyi Mountain!

Loving every intoxicating inhalation of tea leaves on Wuyi Mountain!

Tea dreaming…

Tea dreaming…

Most of our teas from Wuyi Mountain are hidden between mountains, shaded by trees. This ensures protection, so the leaves retain vital moisture. After an hour drive and 30-minute walk across several ancient wooden panel bridges, we reach these magical seas of tea. Hiking my way up the mountains was quite challenging, and I kept remembering the strength of the tea pluckers, walking out here with their tools and baskets. How lucky to be surrounded by a pristine natural environment where every breath is filled with the scent of fresh tea leaves!