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alistair alistair is offline
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Default "Special" tea farming in China?

On Wed, 28 Dec 2011 19:23:08 -0500, dogma_i wrote:

> The only really memorable, not to say stunning, Long Jing I've brewed
> was delivered unto us by an acquaintance with diplomatic ties. The
> precious pinch came from a secured harvest said not to exceed what a
> single supply officer could easily carry. I was impressed by the
> provenance; more by the savor.
> An article in this week's New Yorker sheds some light, and whets the
> less-connected gweilo's appetite for access to such treasures.
> Still, one is sobered somewhat in recalling that said gweilo hath not
> only ready access to at least the second- or third-best produce of a
> whole world of diverse tea-producing regions, each with its own many and
> special characteristics; but also, even "just" among those of Chinese
> origin, readier access to much of that empire's own output at levels of
> quality, price and freshness that may rise above what has historically
> been available to all but the most celestial ranks of the imperium.
> Life is good, mostly. May you enjoy in good health and good company many
> a stimulating cup in the year to come.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> December 22, 2011
> Is a Clue to Chinas Future on Its Dinner Tables? Posted by Evan Osnos

> ... it was grim news last fall when Chinese reporters uncovered a
> network of €śspecial farms€ť dedicated to providing Party leaders with
> top-quality vegetables, chicken, pork, rice, beef, fish, and tea oil. In
> the province of Zhejiang, for instance, forty €śhigh-class eco-farms€ť
> were said to have been earmarked to supply the land-resource department,
> water conservancy, agricultural units, and other government offices.
> (What are we to make of the fact that the offices receiving special food
> are exactly the ones overseeing the publics supply?)
> Historically, the leaders of the Peoples Republic maintained
> tegong€”special supply€”farms, but in the nineteen-nineties the irony
> became too much (or too public) to bear, and they were thought to be
> shut down. But it seems they are thriving ...

Wouldn't you say that drinking these teas here in the West is a bit odd?
A good Formosa Oolong must surely be of a comparable quality to the
mainland ones. On top of that, I am never quite sure about the level of
pesticides that go into the production of Chinese teas. In the past it
was very high, maybe it has reduced in the last years. Would be
interested to know.