The tea cultivar is very important factor to decide the quality of the tea. And in some case, we can even judge the cost of tea by the cultivar.
Now in China, the tea made by mixed cultivar 群体种 is chased by many experienced tea drinkers. What’s mixed cultivar? We can explain that the mixed tea cultivar is those old tea trees grown from tea seed. As we know in agriculture that the crop can be bred by either seed or clone (cuttage). In the past, nearly all the tea trees were planted by seed. While in modern time, more and more tea trees are planted by cuttage. The tea grown by seed behave complicated characters. Because the seed come flower, and flower carries lot of different gene sources; The tea grown by cuttage is pure in gene source to the parental tree.
So we know that the tea grown by seed have a lot of different gene expression. That’s why it is called as mixed tea cultivar.
As for Chinese famous teas, actually they have formed the quality characters in history for long time. These quality characters come from the local mixed tea cultivars (Seed grown tea trees), which they were made by long time ago, besides the special way of processing of them.
So we can speculate that now the tea by by local mixed tea cultivar is most loyal to the famous tea itself in history , instead of the cultivars from modern cuttage breeding (They did not exist in the past).
In most cases, the mixed tea cultivar germinated later in Spring than those modern cultivars. The later germination is good for quality. Because the tea accumulate more quality contents before harvesting.
The above explained is the reason why the experienced tea drinker are chasing the tea made by mixed tea cultivar.
Many tea farmer plant the cuttage cultivar (most of them are introduced from other places, eg. Fuding Da Bai, Fuyun No.6, Long jing 43). Because their yield is higher, plucking cost is lower, germination is earlier (must admit that many tea customers just buy tea as early as it can in Spring ), and the tea appearance looks better. This practice has made the Chinese famous teas confused to the customers. eg. We can have a Lapsang Souchong either cute slim, big fat or as golden as golden monkey. Actually the historical Lapsang Souchong is made by mixed cultivar Xiao Zhong 菜茶. which is small leaf tea. The Lapsang Souchong made by it is cute slim in tea body and the golden hair is not much. The big fat one is made by big leaf tea from other places like Yunnan. The very golden one is mostly made by Fuding Da Bai or else which is not Xiao Zhong.
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Tags: What is Mixed Tea Cultivar