All Natural Tea Terraces
The first are the all-natural tea terraces. While the rural farmers who cultivate these plantations lack the funds to get official organic certification, they cultivate these teas all naturally without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Among the rows of tea plants grow many Shang Za She trees which draw insects away from the tea and also provide natural fertilizer through their falling leaves. These same trees strengthen the ground through their root networks to protect vital nutrients from erosion, and they also cast many shadows across the tea terraces which helps to further slow growth.
Ancient Tea Gardens
The second source we use are the famous ancient tea gardens in Yunnan. These tea trees have been passed down through families from generation to generation, and many are hundreds of years old. Each garden is strategically located in the middle of old growth forests, which the villagers say; “allows nature to care for these trees.” The tea trees have never been exposed to any form of pesticide or fertilizer and they are intentionally located near forest streams so they get a good supply of fresh water. All nutrients are provided naturally through the forest, the high elevation keeps pests to a minimum, and the tea is shaded by the surrounding trees.
Beyond all of these factors, the villagers believe that the most valuable characteristic of these old tea trees are their vast root networks which allow them to draw the most nutrients out of the ground to aid their growth. The resulting leaves and buds are very valuable, and they add a depth and complexity of flavor to our tea that can’t be imitated.