My online friend Cindy Chen sometimes sends pictures and video of making tea, or tea areas, and I'll share some of those.
That term "online friend" is strange, isn't it? How could someone be a friend if you've not actually met them? Using "acquaintance" usually fits better. No need to drag that part out but she just seems like a friend. This post isn't about how nice Cindy is anyway, or a summary of how tea is made, just some pictures and videos.
Her family makes and sells nice tea (Wuyi Yancha oolong, Fujian black teas, and Dan Cong), lots of which I've reviewed, and they have a sales website related to that. I won't even mention here which of her teas I like best, although it's strange leaving that out. Some of these are older pictures, ones I've shared over the past two years. Or some are favorites from her Facebook page, that tell parts of the processing story or show something interesting.
The plants and growing areas
The story of tea starts with some incredible natural areas and very unique plants.
An old picture, from the Dan Cong harvest last year, one of my favorites. She does a lot with the sales and relations side of the business, and raises a family, but she does plant and pick tea and contributes to making it. Cindy's husband is from that region instead of Wuyishan originally, so they help produce teas from both places.
Wuyishan, and tea plants. Someday I'll visit there, but for now have to settle for drinking some of the teas, and envying people that do visit. Since I'm from a rural area myself I envy people living a simpler life closer to nature but they really do hard work as a part of that.
Most of this is bamboo, not even tea, probably on the way to a remote place where tea grows.
More "wild" tea plant area
2017 "wild" lapsang harvest
Cindy! Another from last year; more like what one would expect of tea gardens
Carrying a giant bag of leaves
Processing: the next step
An older picture, helping roast the tea.
Rou Gui processing step
Rou Gui processing step
Checking on status; the smell indicates where the tea is in a lot of the steps
Maocha, unfinished tea, still being processed
Sorting tea, with a small set of hands helping out
A family business
Cindy and her uncle in the roasting area.
Another favorite I've shared before; that family background means that her daughter gets lots of exposure to tea. Cindy said she likes to snack on the fresh leaves, and of course she can already prepare tea, and probably knows more about the subject than I do.
Cindy's husband and father in law examine tea plants
Her father-in-law checking out plants
Cindy's husband inspecting results
Industrial safety review in the baking area. Just kidding; I've experienced from my own kids that toddlers tend to get a little banged up once in awhile.
Rou Gui! One version of the finished product.