This rare offering from Li Xiaoping can only be picked in years where the weather is perfectly cool and temperate and the rain is very light. At the very top of Li Xiaoping’s peak of Shi Feng there is a grove of trees that have been allowed to grow undisturbed to preserve a natural habitat for birds and increase biodiversity. Among the trees are tea plants that have not been cut back and trimmed every year like the lower slope plants. Because these semi-wild Dragonwell bushes are not tended, they require perfect weather to yield the right flavor.
Li Xiaoping was able to pick these bushes this year and offered us the majority of her tiny yield in the interest of cultural exchange and sharing a unique side of Shi Feng’s terroir not often seen. The flavor is rich, bold and complex, sharing the lingering sweetness an aromatic subtlety of early harvest Dragonwell with the big flavor of later harvests. The tea benefits from Shi Feng’s unique quartz-heavy white sand soil and mountain spring water, as well as the cool protected microclimate that the mountains form.