What makes Wild Jin Jun Mei so valuable?
First Harvest Wild Tongmu Jin Jun Mei is currently one of the most sought after teas in the world. It is valuable because it is admired so greatly by connoisseurs in China for its singular and unique texture and aftertaste.
Tongmu is a tiny region that has been designated for special protection and recognition. Non-residents are not allowed into the preserve without special approval and sponsorship from a resident. The annual yield of the entire region is nowhere near enough to satisfy the demand.
The region of Tongmu is unique within the Wuyishan region for its volcanic rock formations, and extremely thick vegetation coverage and biodiversity. Nestled along either bank upstream of the Jiuqu (Nine Bends) Brook, the mountains create a unique microclimate, perfect for many species of birds and a healthy ecosystem. Mountain spring water springs out of the ground and runs down every slope, and the rocky land and cold weather make for slow-growing but singularly incredible tea.
To produce just one kilogram of early harvest Tongmu Wild Jin Jun Mei, five kilograms of fresh leaves are needed. One kilogram of fresh leaf takes twelve to fourteen thousand individual buds, each picked entirely by hand.
A single tea bush will only produce 50 to 100 grams of buds, meaning that it is necessary to hike high into the mountains to forage even a small amount of this tea. Every bush is wildly propagated, which means that different individual bushes all bud at different times. This makes it necessary to hike the mountains of Tongmu every day of early spring to make sure you’re picking the buds when they are still tiny and delicate and perfect for Jin Jun Mei. The steep mountains and rocky terrain make this harvesting dangerous work for everyone in the Li Family.
The incredible amount of labor required, the steep domestic demand and tiny supply make this one of the most valuable teas coming out of China, with demand for genuinely wild Jin Jun Mei growing every year.