I was deeply saddened to hear that Yao Yue Ming had made his way to Heaven and would no longer be seen in the tea gardens of Wuyi Shan. He was truly one of the great tea masters of the world. He was one of the first to put to work his love of science with his love of tea, and rock oolongs in particular. For more than half a century he worked on making the best of all teas better. One of the reasons that we can enjoy these teas now without being close to the emperor or extraordinarily rich is due directly to his work. He helped to make an extremely difficult type of tea to grow more hardy, and successfully extended the numbers tea bushes. Still the original six Da Hong Pao bushes survive.
He invented ways to increase production and maintain the legendary characteristics of the hand work developed by the very patient and exacting Taoist monks who had perfected WuYiShan Oolongs in monasteries almost a thousand years ago. It is hard to imagine Heaven being more beautiful than the WuYi Mountains where he spent his life. He was truly a happy man when he was here with us. He taught me that a true tea drinker learns from the tea. He was a great student and teacher, graced by intellect, culture, and his hands in the soil. He brought happiness to many and bounded up the mountains with the energy of joy.