This has been a cold and grey winter in Northern Taiwan. Temperatures were cooler than usual. However, this Sunday, the weather turned sunny and warm. I felt eager to make a short trip to San Hsia to see the progress of the spring green tea harvests. Sometimes, they start as early as end of February. This year, they are just about to happen.
This farmer was harvesting his bushes alone. His wife didn't have time to help him that day. He was working at a steady pace, apparently undisturbed by the fact he wouldn't be able to finish harvesting the field today. He has probably learned that it's not worth to rush. Better have fewer leaves than doing a sloppy work.
Time is quality.
"This year is too cold. The buds are not coming out." he told me. "The harvest will be smaller in volume". Another farmer told me to come back in 2 to 3 weeks to make my selection.
On the positive side, the weather is reasonably dry. Let's hope it stays like for some time.
In Central Taiwan, it's warmer, so that low altitude Oolongs are already starting to appear.
It has been a long a cold winter, but spring is about to arrive. These healthy green tea buds promise new discoveries and life!
In the meantime, to warm my body, I drink a lot of different Hung Shui Oolongs these days. I find it amazing how the masterful, slow, charcoal roasting helps to refine the tea and keep its freshness. Good tea doesn't need to be rushed!
Let's be patient.