Thai Royal Development Project

“Bai Yai” – The Old Tea Tree of North Thailand

The Camellia Sinensis Assamica tea species has been growing wild in the form of trees in most south east Asian countries for centuries... Though the production of green tea was the prevailing method in those times, the processing methods varied regarding drying and heating procedures, in particular the production of post-fermented tea produced in a way similar to Pu Errh tea can be tracked back for many decades... the new Chinese settlers, who had been playing a key role in the outlawed trade, started getting back to those old assamica tea trees and took up a more commercial production of green, and now also Oolong tea from the leaves of those old trees native to north Thailand. In and around the Chinese KMT settlements, such as Doi Mae Salong, they no longer collected the tea leaves only from the wild growing trees, but also started cultivating the plant in tea gardens... These teas, namely our ShanTea, our DMS Bai Yai leaves green tea, and our DMS Bai Yai leaves Oolong tea, are often referred to as “good everyday teas”... When people start describing the taste of these teas, they will often use attributes like “earthy”, or “grassy”, all centered around the element “earth... This, I think, the ability to create or reproduce a whole world just out of aroma and taste, is indeed one of the greatest virtues (say: qualities) a tea can possibly have to offer. READ MORE

Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong Tea – 4 Seasons like Spring

What is actually the story behind the “4 Seasons”? A question that inevitable arises in every tea lover’s mind when first encountering 4-Seasons Oolong Tea... The Four Seasons Oolong cultivar, a still relatively young tea variety, is one of the best-known and most popular results of the Taiwan Oolong Tea Research and Development... And this is how the 4-Seasons-Oolong got its name: Si Ji Chun in English translates to “four seasons like spring”, and means that Four Seasons Oolong tea can be harvested 4 times a year on a quality level equal to that of the spring season...Si Ji Chun 4-Seasons Oolong tea is an absolutely unique tea! There is simply not other Oolong tea, whose taste is even somewhat close to that of the Si Ji Chung Four Seasons Oolong in terms of taste, while the potential of 4-Seasons Oolong tea, with up to 10 infusions and more (using the Chinese Gong Fu Cha method) further contributes to establishing this tea among the Taiwan’s, and thereby Thailand’s top Oolong teas... In terms of taste, the Si Ji Chun Four Seasons Oolong, by standard processed to an only lightly fermented, rather still near green Oolong tea, shows an extremely variable bandwidth... However, our DMS Si Ji Chun 4-Seasons Oolong tea’s most astounding and somehow baffling characteristic is the taste and aroma potential it offers, and which often makes just one tea pot load to an evening-filling event... READ MORE

Doi Tung 2: The Tea Gardens of Doi Tung – On the Tracks of the Royal Development Project

The actual roots of the tea cultivation in north Thailand are located on the Doi Tung mountain, more precisely in the middle of the 1990's in the local offshoot of the Thai Royal Development Projects... I was looking at an extended weekend, where I would be able to take the time for a journey to the Doi Tung, in order to follow the tracks of tea cultivation in north Thailand to their very beginnings... The Tourist Attractions of Doi Tung... The Royal Villa Doi Tung... Mae Fah Luang Flower Garden... Hall of Inspiration... Doi Tung Hilltribe Bazar... The teas gardens of Doi Tung... there are even virtually "forested" tea gardens, where the tea plants grow in the (half) shade of a treetop cover... They won't allow it to, it is these fresh tips they want to harvest, process and savor in particular. A proper hand picking of only and exclusively such tips yields the teas qualities that nowadays, given the flood of machine-harvested mass teas, are often referred to as "boutique tea"... READ MORE

Thai Tea – Tea cultivation in Thailand

In the area today forming the border region Northern Thailand/Burma, tea was already harvested from wild growth at a very early stage...The Kuomintang Army...Doi Mae Salong, a small, picturesque town, situated at an altitude of 1800 m above sea level...part of the legendary Golden Triangle...Royal Thai Tea Project...Tea cultivation at Doi Mae Salong...the opium cultivation in the mountain enclave being completely replaced by one of the cultivation of tea...more than 200 tons of tea annually, and the quality particularly of the locally grown Oolong teas, but also the Green Teas, and more recently Black Teas, for which the plants were originally imported from Taiwan....Doi Mae Salong provides just perfect conditions for tea growing...also produces tea scented with jasmine flowers, the Chinese "immortality herb" Jiaogulan, as well as Ginseng Tea and other scented teas like Rice Tea or Osmanthus Green Tea...Other Tea Cultivation Areas in Northern Thailand, especially the regions Doi Tung and Doi Chang...Tea cultivation in the Shan areas...The Shan call their plants 'Ning Lung'...ideal conditions for a particularly fine tea...Many Shan are from childhood on familiar with the cultivation of tea trees...benefit the Shan refugees via a percentage levy on the realized proceeds from the sale of ShanTea amounting to 20% of total sales..READ MORE...