January 16, 2015

Laos Forest Tea

Lao Forest Tea logo imageBack in May 2010, a team of researchers, tea experts, government and NGO did a study of wild forest teas found in northern Laos.  They released their findings in a report.  77 samples of tea had been evaluated by an expert panel, and a portion (26) were deemed viable for possible commercial use.  They even selected a top 9 best teas.  The breakdown of the 77 were:  41 wild teas, 9 ancient cultivated teas and 27 commercially cultivated teas.

Lao tea samples at a cupping session, Photo credit:  Frank Miller and Eric Wong, Lao Forest Tea Project
Photo Credit:  Frank Miller and Eric Wong, Lao Forest Tea Project

Fun facts:
  • There is evidence that demonstrates that tea was exported from Laos to the Chinese emperor's court almost 1000 years ago but that the trade ceased in the 20th century.  Laos, as well as a few other countries, were a part of what the Chinese called the Old Tea Horse Road.
  • Many old tea trees are found in northern provinces of Laos including Phongsaly, Sayabouly, Oudomxai, Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Vientiane, and Xieng Khouang.
As someone who loves tea, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the documents they've posted on their website.

Interested to read more too?  Check out:   http://laoforesttea.com/study.html

Lao tea bushes with yellow flower blossoms, Photo Credit:  Lao Forest Tea Project 
Photo Credit:  Lao Forest Tea Project

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