So far so good in Yunnan. The weather report is favorable. The harvest has started in some places and I have some exploratory orders for new green teas that I plan to introduce this year. The report from central China is also good, with production expected to increase. The temperature has reached 18 degrees C (64 degrees F) and the harvest is starting in the next week or so. Unfortunately, famous and rare teas are still in high demand so prices are expected to remain high. Eastern China has experienced an extended period of rain (almost 20 days) which may affect aromatics and flavor. Currently the weather is sunny with temperatures up to around 20 degrees C (68 degrees F). The harvest is expected to start around March 20. I will be there to oversee our Lotus Heart and Imperial Dragon Well harvest.
Imperial Tea Court Teamaster Roy Fong is continually in touch with growers and tea officials in China as he prepares to leave next week to supervise the 2009 green tea harvest and teamaking. Signs that this should be a good year for green tea are continuing positive, although there are some concerns about rain in eastern China. We'll keep you posted as conditions evolve and we learn more. Here's Roy's latest update: