Views from the tea garden on top of Mo Gan Mountain
On this the fourth day of my tea study trip I visited an organic tea garden situated at the top of Mo Gan Mountain affording spectacular vistas of the whole county. Here we learnt about one of the finest quality yellow teas in the Cuppa Cha range…the Mo Gan Huang Ya, a rare yellow tea grown in Zheijiang Province.
Mrs.Wang Qi Zhen, the tea master for the Mo Gan Huang Ya Yellow Tea.
We met Wang Qi Zhen, the Mo Gan Huang Ya tea master, a wonderful lady who has gained much respect and fame, not only for being the best in the countryside, but also because she is a well respected and knowledgeable woman in a male dominated tea producing industry. I was also privileged to gain further hands-on picking experience from the local tea bushes then later being taught the special process for making this rare tea at the tea factory.
Tea bush for the Mo Gan Huang Ya Yellow Tea
The process for making this rare organic yellow tea is much the same as for making green tea except that an extra production stage is carried out. Between the second stage (frying) and the third stage (rolling/shaping) as for green teas, the leaves for the yellow tea are briefly fermented by being compacted in a damp cloth then placed in a bamboo tray over a bamboo basket, which in turn, is placed over a temperature controlled coal fired oven. The oven is very basic – a coal fire made in a container. The smouldering coals are smothered with sand to ensure the heat is kept low and constant.
Yellow tea being fermented over a coal fired oven
Our heads now filled with all the wonderful secrets of making this exciting fine rare Mo Gan Huang Ya Yellow Tea, and me being extra excited knowing that Cuppa Cha had the foresight to carry this wonderful beverage, we were shown the typical warm hospitality of the Chinese tea making families.
After this tasty meal of fresh locally grown vegetables and poultry the only thing left to do for the day was to relax whilst savouring what we had just experienced. See my next blogs for the white, Oolong and black tea experiences.