Updated: Feb 27, 2020
On the day 24 of the challenge, I wrote about the white tea I sourced in Thailand directly from the farmer Mr Sirawit Sirichokwatanakul who is at the same time the tea master. Today, I will talk about his farm first and then his green tea.
Mr Sirichokwatanakul established his farm in 2014 which is located at Ban Mae Chan Tai, a village in Chiang Rai province of Thailand. He cultivates both tea and coffee and advocates for sustainable agriculture and his farm is designed to allow sustainable farming. He learned tea making from Taiwanese, Korean and Thai masters after 5 years of self-study and 4 experimentation. Mr Sirichokwatanakul’s farm Josado can produce around 100 kg of green tea every year which is twice as his black tea production. Given there are more established companies in the same region producing and exporting fine teas, we can call Josado a boutique farm.
This green tea was the first one I tried from Josado farm and I liked its full-bodied yet mellow taste. The dried leaves smell like a rainforest with sweet-scented plants. I do occasionally open the package and inhale the richness of this tea. I love it!
For brewing, it was key to keep the steeping time short and the water temperature right to avoid astringency. It has no grassy tones at all and I attribute this to the highly skilful tea master and the fact that this tea is made from the camellia sinensis assamica variety. Yes, big leaves and some earthiness.
Origin: Chiang Rai, Thailand
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leave colour: Tones of green with some brown
Liquor colour: Dark yellow
Tea aroma: Floral and earthy
Tea taste: Mellow and slightly sweet
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 75°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 2 years although the fresher the better.