Blankets and ridges of green stimulant leaf lie in rows near Puerh. Here the leaf is entirely industry. Gorgeous industry, but still industry. Local Hani, Han, Yi, Lahu, and Dai pluckers shimmy through the humid air to pluck, pluck, and pluck some more. My guide here amidst the fields, “Little Rabbit”, mentioned how in his family “only wants to drink tea, not work with tea”. We stood with a 360 degree amphitheatre of young and medium growth bushes around us. Though beautiful, I craved the rampant old growth forests which retain still something of a world beyond simply the commerce of a leaf that I’ll never stop being in love with. There is a quote that I think embodies the world of tea from a tea selling friend of mine in Jinghong, Yunnan,"It is the teas from the messy beauty of the forests that the dedicates crave, rather than the teas from the 'perfect' fields".
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