Hainan is China’s smallest province, and it is at the same time a tropical island that belongs to a tropical monsoon climate. The meteorological conditions in the island such as its annual sunshine duration average temperature (between 22 and 26 degrees), moderate rainfall (above 1600 mm), and its acid-rich soil make it an ideal place for growing tea. Hainan is also the only region in China where tea can be picked in four seasons. The tea plant growing in Hainan has larger leaves, and on some tea boxes sold on the island, I saw the labelling ‘camellia sinensis var. assamica’. This surprised me, later I found in this source that “The tea plant grown in Hainan Island is almost similar to that of the hilly lands in Formosa and it is generally larger and has more lateral veins than the China type leaves.” This research suggests that wild camellias found in Hainan inland were semi-arbour and they belonged to camellia sinensis var. assamica. But yet there are different tea growing areas in Hainan, and I am not sure if they grow the same cultivar.
This green came from Wuzhishan which is located in the middle mountainous area of Hainan province. It is also home to tropical rain forests. The ethnic minorities in Wuzhishan have been cultivating tea which has contributed significantly to poverty alleviation efforts.
I had this spring green tea in a tea house, and could not see the dry leaves. The taste was mellow, fragrant and yet rich. I did not taste the ‘wild’ flavours from a green tea made out of assamica. But instead, I thought I was having a quality green tea at a reasonable price.
I have read some positive reviews about black tea from Hainan, and I’m looking forward to trying and writing about it soon.
Origin: Wuzhishan, Hainan
Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leaf colour: Unseen
Liquor colour: Cloudy/bright yellow
Tea Aroma: Floral
Tea taste: Mellow and floral without astringency and vegetal notes
Place 5 g of this tea in a tea pot and add about 100 ml water at around 85°C.
Rinse after 5 sec.
Steep for 5 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 5. You can re-steep this tea about three or four times.