SPRING TEA ARRIVES EARLY!
Zhuping has been in China since a couple of days before Chinese New Year and I will be going next week. There has been a very warm winter this year and an early spring. In Sichuan where the first tea of the year is harvested the news is not good for some of the very small bud tea that comes early, Shi Hua (Stone Flower) for example. Usually there is an extended period of time as the weather warms, when it buds stay small and grow slowly enough to allow pickers to get to them. This year spring came early and the mountains heated up quickly, which severely affect the yield. Of course that will drive up the price. Since we have our orders in before the harvest, I don’t think it will effect us to much, but if this weather trend contines to the east, early green tea and white will be impacted. This could be a very good thing for oolongs and some black tea. Stay tuned for that.
What the farmers are talking about is global warming, but just two years ago the weather was very cold, and last years was pretty cold too. I got caught in the spring with a suit case full of shorts and no jacket. I’m 6’4″ and buying clothes in the countryside in China leaves me with photo’s I don’t want people to see and a major embarrasment to my 16 year old. I’ve repacked my shorts and hope the weather will no changes.
UPDATE: TOUCH OF SPRING WILTS TO WINTER
Yikes, now what will I wear? And what will happen to the tea harvest? You’ve got to love this business!!