Yao Yi Lin – Fuding, Fujian
How long have you been growing tea and what got you started?
It is a family business. I started to help my parents when I was very young. I have worked in tea for more than 30 years.
Can you describe a typical day out in the field?
In spring we are very busy because white monkey is a spring tea. I normally get up at 6 and go out to pick the fresh tea leaves. In the afternoon and evening we will make the teas with what we picked up in the day time. We never use yesterday’s tea leaves to make this tea. So in spring time I will work more than 18 hours a day. After that, my main job is to fertilizing, weeding and making the field friable in the rest of the year.
What is your favorite part of growing tea?
I like picking in early fresh spring morning. I do enjoy the beautiful mountain at that time.
Conversely, what is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part is the production evening in spring after picking. We need to work faster to make all the tea leaves. Otherwise they will be changed and oxidized. We need to work tenderly and carefully for the delicate tea leaves. Besides it is in the evening it is hard for our eyes under the shinning light.
What do you think makes your tea unique or better than others?
The white monkey can only be produced in our Tailao mountain area. Because the field is fertile, the water is pure, the weather is wet. Furthermore, our experience is also very important.
Are there any tips you can give on how to best brew your tea?
First water is very important. I suggest to use mineral water first of all and spring water in the second. Do not use running water from the tube. Second, I suggest to use glass cup to brew this tea. You can see how beautiful it is inside the cup. Finally, try to drink when it is cold. It is still pleasant in mouth.