Action packed day. First, we ended up at the oldest and most authoritative tea research facility, founded in 1935, and one of the founders at 98 years old, is still alive. After perusing the history and impressive collections of award winning new varietals they have developed, we headed up to the Collection Garden.
There are between 800 to 1000 new and old varietals in this tea garden, ranging from THE lone surviving Big Red Robe grafted from the original tree grown at the cliffs of Wuyi, and Fu-Yun, the Fujian Yunnan hybrid equally good for white tea or Pu-Erh as it is both! Outrageous! The garden was gloriously fragrant and the songbirds led the way. If you were remotely into tea, you have just discovered your heaven paved with streets of gold....leaves.
We then tasted through about 50 to 60 teas, acting as guinea pigs as some of these new varietals have never, ever, been tasted by any human being. I exaggerate. Human beings they let out of research institutes. Yes, these are rare species of humans here. Imagine, real tea experts, as opposed to quacks calling themselves 'tea experts' who require that you serve scones with white gloves when you serve tea.....
Gold Guanyin. Yellow Guanyin. Dan Gui. Nine Dragon Robe (delicious! I will have some for the connoisseurs at Teance), Fu Yun #5 made as a white, oolong or black...but eventually, they will all be made into Pu-Erh.
We learned alot, saw alot, tasted alot of teas, and made some business headway (won't discuss the business parts here). Suffice to say, I think we all got what we expected to. Tomorrow...off to Fu Ding!