It is said that tea harvested in spring has a more appealing aspect; in this article I aim to discuss the differences that I have found from my study of tea, and I will discuss the differences between Black Tea and Oolong Tea harvest.
During autumn and winter the tea plant is in a sort of hibernation mode. This “low power mode” if you will, helps to conserve the decreased sunlight and nutrients that the tea plant is receiving during these colder seasons. The tea plant is able to store this energy within the top shoots first displayed in early April/May. This energy within these new growths is at its highest potential during the spring before the summer heat and sun intensity change the expression of what is found in the tea leaf.
Here at ChaCeremony, all of the tea we carry is spring harvested. The tea energy or “ChaQi” found within the new growth is give our tea a depth of character and unique appeal that others lack. After careful study, I have found that the tea I sell to be a superior quality when compared to other suppliers. This quality in our tea is displayed by the feeling during and drinking our tea. The enjoyment of the complexity within the aromas of the tea is also notably another benefit of spring harvested tea. Comparing tea energy from autumn to spring I find spring harvest is more uplifting with a strength that when compared to autumn tea is expressed uniquely.
For Oolong and Black teas, the Spring harvests are generally seen as higher quality and are more sought after. Qualities found in spring tea are seen as having more clarity of tea soup, having more texture within the tea soup, and then last but not least they containing an energy and aromatic component that are more often complex and sophisticated when compared to autumn harvest. The pricing variance between autumn and spring tea is in my opinion directly related to what quality difference is to be found within the seasonal distinctions. It is with my great pleasure I am able to offer these teas direct soured from the farmers I work direct with.
During late April the first teas that get processed are our Black Teas such as JinJinMei and XiaoZhong. Following the processing of our Black Tea we start the process of one by one harvesting each oolong varietal. The differences between Oolong and Black Tea comes down to the processing but even which part of the plant that gets harvested is different. For Black Tea’s such as JinJunMei it is extremely labor intensive work as just the top shoots of each plant get handpicked; whereas Oolong still being very labor intensive and handpicked just the first 3 leaves and stem are harvested for processing.
For further information on how our teas are harvested and processed see my blog posting on the subject; http://chaceremony.com/2017/04/29/harvest-2017/