Guizhou Province located in China's southwest besides being rich in natural wonders and ethnic minority culture is an important production area for green tea. Tea trees require warm humid weather with alkali soil and Guizhou, located in a subtropical zone has ideal conditions for the production of tea. Until recently Guizhou's teas have been rarely available outside of the province because all of the best teas were consumed by locals. Now more and more of Guizhou Province's wonderful teas are becoming available outside the province making tea connoisseurs sit up and take notice.
Duyun Maojian Tea:
Cultivated in Duyun County Guizhou Province, Duyun Maojian Tea is one of Guizhou's most famous green teas. Duyun Maojian Tea has three characteristics that set it apart from other Maojian Teas. It has what locals call the "Three Yellows", the leaves are yellower, they become bright yellow when brewed, and the tea liquor has a yellow tint to it. The taste of Duyun Maojian Tea has a sweet and well-rounded taste with a lingering fragrance and an aftertaste that lasts for a long time. When processing, only the best buds and tender young leaves are picked. The leaves are covered with a fine white down. The freshly picked leaves are rolled and kneaded and twisted so that the white down can be seen, which appears like silvery fishhooks. The rolling and kneading crack the surface of the leaves so when the tea is brewed, more of the tea's flavor comes out.
Guiding Yunwu Tea:
Produced in Yunwu Mountain, Guiding County in Guizhou Province, Guiding Yunwu Tea is a favorite among Guizhou residents. The tea is so wonderful that it was once given as tribute to the emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The processing techniques are fairly complicated and the leaves picked must meet exacting standards. The tea can be picked five times a year and only a bud picked with two new leaves is used for producing Guiding Yunwu Tea. The best tea is produced in the early spring around the time of China's Tomb Sweeping Festival which falls around the beginning of April. The processing of the leaves includes kneading and rolling like Duyun Maojian Tea. The leaves are covered with white down and when processed are twisted and resemble a fishhook. When brewed, the tea's liquor has a mellow flavor and its fragrance has hints of honey.
Meijiang Cuipian Tea:
Formerly known as Meijiang Tea, Meijiang Cuipian Tea is named after the Mei River where it is produced. The area's climate is ideal for the production of tea. The climate is mild and features abundant rainfall and fertile soil. The best Meijiang Cuipian Tea is picked around the time of China's Tomb Sweeping Festival which falls around the beginning of April. The tea is also picked at other times of the year but is not as high quality as the early spring tea. Once picked the tea is left in the shade to dry about three to five hours before processing to allow slight oxidation to take place. The tea's liquor has a greenish tint and a mellow taste with hints of sweetness.
These are just a few of the teas available in Guizhou Province. Each tea has its own story, taste, and history. A visit to Guizhou is not complete without sampling some of the wonderful teas available. An evening visit to a teahouse or tea shop is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a day of touring.
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