• Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestDoi ("Mountain") Mae Salong is a pristine high mountain oolong tea growing region in the far northern borderland in Chiang Rai province. Organic oolong tea farmer and manager Khun Ming checks her Qingxin cultivar gardens. The tea gardens in the background are also part of Khun Ming's farm. Each plot is planted with a different specialty oolong tea cultivar. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestMost oolong tea is picked according to a plucking standard of three leaves and a bud. Withering under direct sunlight is critical for proper enzymatic activity and to facilitate the slow, controlled oxidation that makes oolong tea so special. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestQingxin cultivar tea bushes in Doi Mae Salong are harvested in spring and summer to make Bai Hao Oolong Tips
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestSkilled tea pickers use both hands to collect the fresh leaf swiftly. This spring, the weather has been very hot and dry so many of the pickers wear hats, scarves, and long sleeves to stay cool while picking tea. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestTea artisans Aso (right) and Demachoo (left) spread the fresh leaf out to wither in thin layers under direct sunlight. With the spring sun being so hot this year, the tea leaves will only require 2-3 hours of outdoor sun withering before they are ready to move inside for indoor cool withering. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestNew sprouts emerging on Qingxin cultivar tea bushes.
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestRishi Tea buyers study the phenotype variations of the Qingxin cultivar gardens growing in Doi Mae Salong. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestMany of the cultivars growing in Doi Mae Salong can flush 4-6 times per year. When the weather is dry, as it has been this spring, the farmers irrigate the gardens with sprinkler systems to ensure the trees remain healthy and productive until the monsoon rains come in summer. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestOolong teas are picked according to a plucking standard of three leaves and a bud.
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestRishi founder and tea buyer Joshua Kaiser and Akha tea picker Ms Atoon pose for a photo in the Ruan Zhi cultivar gardens. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestMany of the tea pickers in Doi Mae Salong are of Akha ethnicity. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestThere are about 21 tea pluckers that handle the harvesting for Rishi's organic oolong teas in Doi Mae Salong, Thailand. The pluckers and garden fresh leaf manager Mr Ar Yi are from the local Akha hill tribe. There are pluckers from the Li Zu tribe as well. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestFresh leaf and garden manager Mr Ar Yi.
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestRuby Qingming Micro-lot harvesting.
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestThe cultivation and production of oolong tea is time-intensive and nuanced. The production needs to be continually adapted depending on prevailing conditions. Within the factory, variable elements like humidity, temperature, sunlight, and airflow all play an important role in how tea leaf flavor and aroma evolves. Feeling, smelling, and sensing the tea leaves is the only way make truly special oolong tea. 
  • Doi Mae Salong Thailand Spring 2017 HarvestThe cultivation and production of oolong tea is time-intensive and nuanced. The production needs to be continually adapted depending on prevailing conditions. Within the factory, variable elements like humidity, temperature, sunlight, and airflow all play an important role in how tea leaf flavor and aroma evolves. Feeling, smelling, and sensing the tea leaves is the only way make truly special oolong tea. 

Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

Spring 2017 Harvest


ELEVATION: 1,050 meters
CLIMATE: Montane, subtropical, and monsoonal, with cool breezy evenings and warm sunny days
SOIL TYPE: Loamy, well-draining, high in manganese and potassium
CULTIVARS: Si Ji Chun, Cui Yu, Ruan Zhi, Jin Xuan, Qingxin


Doi Mae Salong, Thailand (Spring 2017)

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