I recently got my own small tea company off the ground. As I was getting ready to launch the company I was searching for different teas I could offer. Needless to say I wanted to find high quality teas, but I was also hoping to find something that was really unique, something with a good story attached to it.
As luck would have it I found what I was looking for. A black mao feng tea which I call Yin’s Wisdom. When I first tried the tea I liked it because I thought its flavor was deep yet complex, and the more I drank it the more curious I became about it’s story. A fellow tea person (who turned me onto this particular tea in the first place) knew something of the tea master who crafted this tea, and he was kind enough to share her story with me.
I don’t want to Lao Ren Cha to become a place where I only talk about the teas that I’m selling, and I don’t plan to do this often, but today I’m going to cut and paste some infor directly from the Scholar’s Tea web site….
This tea is made by Ms. Ling Di, who is one of the very few tea business women in China that does it all; from manufacturing to marketing and sales.
Ling’s road was not an easy one, and it is even more amazing when you consider that as she was growing her tea business she was also raising two daughters all on her own. (With China’s one-child policy, there was no financial assistance for the second daughter.) Undaunted, Ling pushed through the many hurtles that faced her and has become a successful, well respected, and yet down-to-earth person in the Huangshan tea community. Today both of Ling’s daughters are also involved in the family tea business.
The inspiration for the Ling’s Black Maofeng tea comes from the homeland of the very bushes that she farms, Taiwan. On the island, just across the straights from Fujian Province, China, there is a famous, oxidized tea named Dong Fang Mei Ren (Oriental Beauty). Though different that it’s Taiwanese muse, the Black Maofeng bushes were indeed imported from Taiwan. Getting the bushes into China was yet another obstacle in Ms.Ling’s path. Her partner in Taiwan, who had obtained and sent the bushes abandoned them when the Chinese Customs refused to let them enter. At her own expense, Ms. Ling worked through the frustrating red tape and was able to secure the plants before they perished. She planted the young shoots in the fertile Huangshan soil and they indeed took root and in a few years were producing tea. Using a special procedure, she herself makes the Black Maofeng. It has been quite well received, especially in Japan.
There are only a handful of dealers in the US that have access to this exclusive tea, and Scholar’s Tea is one of those lucky few.
Due to Ling’s story we have decided to call the name this tea after the female section of the ChineseYin Yang symbol. Thus, we call it Yin’s Wisdom.
~What a good story can do~
Even though I enjoyed this tea the first time I drank it, I’ve found that knowing this story has made me enjoy this tea more.
The world of tea is filled with interesting people, like Lin, with really compelling narratives. Finding this tea, and its story, has made me want to go out and find many more like it. I hope it has inspired you in a similar way.