Old Tea Trees and Ancient Families:
Phoenix Mountain Single Grove Oolongs

Winnie Yu, Tea Buyer and Owner of Teance Fine Teas
Original date: Thursday, November 29, 2007

Download MP3 Audio File Here (9.1 MB)

At Phoenix Mountain, China, the old, gnarly tea bushes are tree size, reaching toward the dense foggy skies in their lichen-crusted barks. Each tree produces leaves of a different fragrance of tea, so it's imperative that each is harvested individually, and by hand. The farmers can identify each grove with the same facility as they recognize their own children. But this is unsurprising, as some of these farm families have been tending to these trees for a thousand years. In this talk and tea-tasting, meet these unique Phoenix Mountain Oolongs and their caretakers, and taste some of the rarest teas in the world, including some remarkable single grove teas.

Winnie Yu excels in two things—tasting the nuances in, and being able to appreciate, myriads of different teas from different mountains. Her passion for tea resulted in a tea company and tearoom in Berkeley called Teance, with a full tasting bar for customers to educate their palates. She travels to remote regions to find the most esoteric and highest quality teas, and brings them to her community, hoping that everyone will enjoy them as much as she does. She was recently featured in the SF Chronicle as leading the way in the Renaissance of Tea in the U.S.

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