Yang Guangqing

A smiling couple standing in front of green trees.
Tea Maker Yang Guangqing and his wife Sai De (who is from the Jinuo minority) living in Youle Mountain

An unexpected tea maker

Yang Guangqing and his family live on a stretch of Youleshan’s lush subtropical highland rainforest. Historically, the family has made its living from the forage harvest of this forest, tea being just one of the goods it yields. The whole family, with the exception of Mr. Yang, belongs to the Jinuo ethnic group who have long made their home in this region. The name of the mountains, “Youle,” is in fact an old term for the Jinuo people living here.

A man in a t-shirt hand-frying tea in a large angled wok in the backyard.
Yang Guangqing traditionally frying sheng puer by hand.

Yang Guangqing himself is not a native of Youle, rather he was a gruff city boy who suddenly found himself in this remote corner of China after he fell in love with a Jinuo woman, Sai De, who is now his wife of over 20 years.

Yang Guangqing took to the industry of his adopted home bravely and threw himself into making tea at a time before Puer tea’s popularity really took off. Now, a booming Puer market and decades of experience have only stoked Yang Guangqing’s devotion to tea. His approach to the craft is as exacting, passionate, and personal as any tea maker we’ve ever worked with. He makes all the Youle teas in our catalog, including sheng puer cakes and loose-leaf as well as an old-style sundried black tea made from the same puer tea trees.

Read more of Mr. Yang’s story here on our blog.

A smiling man seated at a table wrapping steamed puer tea leaves in cloth.
Tea maker Yang Guangqing showing the Seven Cups Tea Tour how to wrap steamed puer tea in cloth, making a knot that gives puer cakes their indent on the back.