This is a short account of how we unexpectedly came to discover 2010 Wild Big Leaves, a very fine aged Anhua Dark Tea.
We recently visited one of these ‘International Tea Exhibition’ which turned out to be quite disappointing and satisfying at the same time. We were warned by our friends that there would be nothing exciting for us to see. We decided to go anyway since we were in town and had never been to such an event. Our friends were right about the exhibition on the whole. Its was quite dull and uninteresting. Surprisingly, there were several stands dedicated to Anhua Dark Tea, most of which were in the same vein as the exhibition itself.
We sat down at a little Anhua Dark Tea stand which seemed to have some fine products. There, we were initially greeted with a cup of ordinary Fu Brick Tea, which was neither bad nor exciting. We started talking with the single stand attendant and asked some basic questions about the qixing stove processing of his teas. ‘Qixing stove’ proved to be the magic word as it demonstrated some understanding and interest into the nature of Anhua Dark Tea. We immediately changed tea and the owner excused himself for the ‘bad’ tea we had first been drinking.
It turns out he is part of a little local artisanal family tea business, which is exactly the kind of producers we are looking to work with. He felt he was losing his time at the exhibition and was all the more happy to share with us all sorts of fine teas. We ended spending a couple of hours at his stand. His teas are outstanding and we returned home with some of his products and samples. One of the highlights were these wild big leaves from the year 2010. Originally intended to be compressed into logs of Huajuan Tea, they were eventually put into bamboo baskets like Tianjian Tea. They have developed the kind of fine ‘medicinal’ taste sometimes found in nicely aged teas.
The next day, after trying our samples, we decided to collect one of the three remaining big 9 kilograms basket of these 2010 Wild Big Leaves, especially in consideration of the fact that winter is coming. Indeed, we feel this is a very warming and comforting tea. Like all our teas from the Aged Tea category, 2010 Wild Big Leaves is available for experienced drinkers, who have already purchased Anhua Dark Tea from the shop. We will also offer it at some time, through our Meishan Treasures tea club.