Where would you go for love?

Newsletter Archive Jun. 4, 2021

A smiling couple standing in front of green tea trees.
Tea Master Yang Guangqing and his wife Sai De living in Youleshan.

Yang Guangqing had no idea how he was going to make a living in the backwoods of Youle Mountain. He was a city boy who had just left his home in Chongqing, the largest city in China, to the middle of the highland rainforest in Yunnan Province, and he’d done it for love.

Guangqing met Sai De, his wife-to-be, when they locked eyes across a humid marketplace in Xishuangbanna. They struck up conversation and before Guangqing knew it, he was on the way to meet the family.

Sai De was a member of the Jinuo ethnic group and by Jinuo custom, Guangqing had to get the approval of Sai De’s two brothers before he could be her groom. The brothers were even less welcoming to city-boy Guangqing than the sweltering wilderness. But, under the condition that Guangqing keep the family in Youle, the brothers gave their approval.

That was more than 20 years ago, before Guangqing learned to make Puer tea from the old tea trees on the family land and before he used his education and connections to the city to build the family tea business beyond anything they could have imagined.

Guangqing 3nlsz
Yang Guangqing kneading tea leaves after frying for sheng puer. His father-in-law sits next to him in the background.

Today, Yang Guangqing and Sai De still live in Youle Mountain. They’ve built a beautiful house where they’ve raised their two daughters. On their mountain land, they gather wild honey, keep a free roaming herd of delicious black pigs, and of course, make tea. Guangqing and his two brothers-in-law now work together every day. Guangqing is no longer the outsider, he’s an integral part of the family. He and his brothers-in-law are now bound together by their care for each other, respect for the two worlds they’ve come from and their shared love for what they do.

This weekend, we’d like to introduce you to two new 2021 harvest teas from Yang Guangqing and his family on Youleshan (Youle Mountain): a micro-lot of old-style sundried black tea and a brand new cake of mature tree sheng puer.

A person in a beekeeper's hat and smock removing a large honeycomb from a forest tree while bees fly around.
Mr. Yang’s daughter harvesting forest honey in Youle.


Brew with us on YouTube

Chris is brewing up both of these teas on YouTube for a side-by-side comparison. He also shares some more video and images from tea season on the family farm.

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