My wife visited Mengku County Huang Shan Mountain and our friend Mr. Duan who we met in Kunming in 2007. He used to oversee the pressing of teas at Kunming area tea factory but moved back home to Mengku in 2010 to help his family with their gardens. In late 2010 when he was headed back home he asked me whether I would buy his tea or not and I told if the quality was good and no pesticides were used, then I most definitely would. I loaned him about $12,000 USD to get started and by Spring 2011 we had our first teas from Mr. Duan.
This visit was our second visit to his tea gardens and it was great to see him and be re-assured that the environment where these tea trees grow is clean and shows no signs of pesticides (roundup, or other herbicides). Since we started testing teas in 2013 Mr. Duan’s teas have always come back with no detectable pesticides residues. Since 2011 he has expanded beyond just his family’s tea garden to areas in Da Xue Shan, Nuo Wu and Ba Wai working with growers there to source tea and ensure that the teas are clean. He even pays them several times each year to agree to not spray (click here to read our blog article about Mr. Duan’s “No Spray” Contract System). The results have been perfect and we’ve been giving him feedback on every laboratory test that we do so that he knows if there is a weak link in the chain.
Mr. Duan is a delightful person. He’s a true gentleman and he’s smart and honest without exception. These are the kind of people we work with year after year and we are happy to support him, his family and the growers he works with!