Master Han sent along some pictures and a short introduction to his unique farmers’ cooperative in a national forest preserve. To mark the occasion of offering up our first tea from Master Han, the Wild Picked Yunnan Black, we have translated his words into English to let him speak to you directly:

An Introduction to Zhenyuan Dongsa Farmers’ Cooperative

Qianjiazhai, my plot of wild tea forest can’t really be found on a road. The best I can give you are coordinates. You can find me at 24 north and 101 east. The altitude is 2100-2500 meters depending on where you stand. The full area of all of our plots, making up the cooperative is 4,700 acres of mountain land nestled within Mount Ailao national forest preserve, protected from development and outside influence. In addition to the wild tea trees, we have planted some Huangshan varietal trees and local varietals with their own distinct characteristics. Our oldest tree is 1700 years old.

Sadly, in the nineties, some farmers cut down some of the old trees to plant tobacco. We talked them out of moving forward with planting the tobacco, but thought the damage would be permanent to their section of the forest. Miraculously, the root systems in the ancient trees runs so deep, that they came right back as the next year like nothing had happened.

I like to call my black tea Qianjiazhai Forest Daughters Black (maybe for my own daughter, or maybe because the tea is a daughter of the forest itself. I use the most traditional methods of oxidization, and dry the tea in the Yunnan sunlight. My black tea has a graceful aroma and flavor, and has a brilliant translucence. In Qianjiazhai, we believe that this black tea is good for blood pressure, keeps the skin healthy, and the mind sharp in old age.

Master Han sent a few pictures to share showing off his house and nearby trees.

Master Han
Master Han standing by one of his younger trees

Master Han's House
Master Han’s house and attached work-room

Master Han climbing a tree
Master Han climbing a tea tree

16 Responses to “On the Zhenyuan Dongsa Farmers’ Cooperative”

  1. I loved reading this information about Master Han and seeing the pictures of the tea trees. I will think of this when my tea comes and I experience tasting the tea, the fruit of the Zhenyuan Dongsa Farmers’ Cooperative’s labor.

  2. I hope Master Han will grace us with more of his tea and his insight. I felt like the tea was romancing me! I’m always amazed by the history that exists over there as America seems so young.

  3. Joely (Azzrian) Smith

    Sipping on some Wild Picked Yunnan Black right now – can’t wait to review it – it is perfection. Thank you Master Han and Verdant Tea for bringing us this selection!

  4. It’s terrible that old tea trees were being cut down to grow tobacco. I can’t judge the farmers, though, they do have to make a living. I like to think that by buying this tea, I am part of a system that incentivizes farmers to preserve these tea forests.

    It’s interesting what Master Han the tea plants rebounded after being cut (I’m supposing that new growth sprung from the old root systems). I wonder how this affected the characteristics of the tea made from those plants.

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