we are super excited to follow along with the He Family
as they start their earliest harvests of the year!
Mr. He is able to get a much earlier harvest through careful winter management of his tea plants, and through a triple-layered greenhouse that protects the plants until warmer weather arrive in May.
This week, the greenhouse is down to one outer layer as the weather warms up so there is room to pick the very earliest buds as they emerge.
The He Family has been a pioneer in tea farming in Laoshan and practices organic techniques. The early spring cold weather protects the tea naturally from insect threats until the He Family’s rows of soybeans grow in as a natural “distraction” for insects later in the year. Their tea is fed by Laoshan’s mountain spring water and shaded during this early harvest period for the sweetest richest flavor possible.
At this time of year, picking is labor-intensive, beginning very early in the morning in the protected greenhouses to hand pick these early spring tiny buds and small leaves. Because of this, Mr. He has decided to finish these very first harvests completely by hand as a bilochun-style gently twisted green tea. The hand-finishing coaxes more sweetness and aroma out of every leaf.
In the past, we have been able to bring in reserve spring Bilochun, but this is the very first time we have been able to secure this very early first harvest, picked well before Qing Ming Festival. This rare treat is an exciting first for us, and we are grateful to the He Family for sharing so much of their limited first pickings.
In another week, we expect the He Family to start harvesting their Reserve Classic Laoshan Green and Flat Pressed when the leaves are at the right size and shape to hold up to more intensive crafting. For now, we are excited to take pre-orders on the few pounds of extreme early season tea hand finished as Bilochun.
We will air-ship this tea from China along with early harvest Dragonwell and fulfill pre-orders as soon as the tea arrives at our warehouse in Minnesota.
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