Zhao Ji Lin

tea farmer

How long have you been growing tea and what got your started?
My parents were tea farmers when I was a small boy. They brought me to the mountain when I was very young. So I loved the mountain and their job. I started to help them when I was 10. On my way to school we picked up the tea leaves every morning. As a result, I began to work when I was 18 after high school.

Can you describe a typical day out in the field?
Si Mao is a mountain area. I have to climb mountains to pick up the tea leaves. I normally go out around 7am in the morning and finish at noon. Then I will send the tea leaves to the primary factory.

What is your favorite part of growing tea?
I love mountains. I began to follow my parents to climb the mountains when I was very young. When I pick up tea leaves I am always very happy. I love the fresh smell.

Conversely, what is the hardest part of your job?
I am 53 now and I do not want to stop, but my knees are not going very well after so many years of climbing. Sometimes I am in pain for that. I do not know what I can do if I lost this job.

Are there any tips you can give on how to best brew your tea?
Suggest to use gai wan and small cups to brew the wonderful jin kong que. When using the gai wan and tea set, you can feel very relax and enjoy everything about the teas, such as tea leaves, tea smell, tea taste and tea liquor etc.

photo of jin kong que
Zhao Ji Lin's
jin kong que
Intricate notes of honey, toastiness, cocoa, and roasted sweet potato.