TEA JOURNEY [16] | Grand Cru Tea

Jul 1, 2023

Just like the finest wines of the west, there's a hidden guild of master tea artisans -- the grand cru of teas.

Grand cru is the treasure of the community and even the country.

Tea Artisans

The grand cru of tea has an unbreakable tie with the passionate tea maker. A fine pot of tea is determined by the terroir, cultivar (the tea variant), the minerals and soil, precipitation, and climate. The key that unlocks the full potential of the tea, however, is the experience and know-how of the tea master. 

In other words, it's the tea master's keen instinct in cultivating the organic farm, determining the harvest timing, and make tea at the right temperature and humidity levels. 

Just like the master artisan of a vineyard, tea masters skillfully bring out the flavors and aromas of their farming and express them with their tea so everyone can love that taste. Not all teas are created equal -- they vary because of a myriad of factors, including humidity and weather at harvest. 

Keeping the tradition or innovate for the new?

Grand cru tea makers are divided largely into two groups: those orthodox tea makers that wish to pass down the traditional tea making methods, and the progressive tea makers that wish to try something new. 

In the world of tea, centuries-old traditions and techniques are perfected and passed down over multiple generations. Here are some of the locations with grand cru tea. 

  • China: Fujian, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Anhui regions

  • Taiwan

  • Japan: Shizuoka, Kyoto, Kagoshima

  • India: Darjeeling, Assam

Grand cru can be newly developed as well. For regions without an ancient cultivar, many tea enthusiasts passionately research and develop the fine tea for their respective terroir. 

In countries like Nepal, R&D tests are done continuously. New cultivars are discovered and different tea-making variables, such as rolling and withering, are tweaked to create their own technical recipe of grand cru tea. 

실제로, 네팔 등 일부나라에서는 새로운 차 품종을 개발하기 위한 실험을 계속하고 있다. 다양한 재배종을 개발하고 위조와 유념 과정의 변수를 조절하기 위해 노력하고 있다. 

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