Moldy leaves were removed and revealed rich colors and moisture patterns.
I’ve been adding and turning this batch of used tea leaves over the last few weeks. Today I discovered an area in the center that was growing mold. The warm, humid weather may have contributed to it.
Spreading out damp, used tea leaves onto paper to make the Leaf Prints, as part of This is Tea.
Leaf and bud sets from the tea plants in Doi Mae Salong, Northern Thailand. April 2015
Growth on tea plants in Doi Mae Salong, Northern Thailand.
Doi Mae Salong is the tea producing region in northern Thailand. My bungalow was surrounded by tea plants so I plucked a few handfuls of new leaves and experimented with making my own very small batch.
I plucked the leaves and let them wither in the sun. After some time I rolled each bud/leaf set into a spear, then more sun time. Leaves began to visibly oxidize. Then I rigged up a way to apply a high heat from our water cooker. Once leaves felt dry I allowed them to cool.
The result was a light brew that tasted very mild. The primary aroma and flavor was that very special note that one experiences when first rolling the leaves and lasts throughout the process. It’s incredibly fresh, vegetal and grassy, unique to camellia sinensis leaves.
Teas coming from Doi Mae Salong are mostly Oolongs (jade and heavily oxdized) as well some puerhs and scented teas. Each type of tea reflects the factors of the region and history of the people. The best place to buy teas from Thailand is SiamTeas.com.
Used tea leaves pressed onto paper. Part of an upcoming series.
Comparing leaves of white and black teas from the same region in China. A typical weekend morning for me.