OUR SUSTAINABLE TEAS
Monsoon Tea specializes in wild and free-grown teas from the original camellia sinensis assamica tea plant, an undomesticated tea plant native to northern Thailand. Less than one per cent of teas worldwide are made using camellia sinensis assamica making this a very rare and unique tea.
For us how the tea is grown is as important as how it is processed. Unlike the domesticated camellia sinensis sinensis, which is grown on large commercial plantations, our tea grows in its natural environment and does not require logging of large forested areas in order to be planted.
It is also more robust than the domesticated tea plants used in monoculture plantations and possesses natural defences against insects and parasites. Hence all of our teas are organically grown and free from herbicides and pesticides.
WILD AND FREE-GROWN TEAS
At Monsoon Tea, we specialize in wild and free-grown teas.
Wild tea refers to tea from the original undomesticated camellia sinensis assamica plant occurring naturally in the forests of northern Thailand.
Free-grown tea is planted by farmers from seeds of the wild camellia sinensis assamica plant. Similar to wild tea, it is left to grow in harmony with its forest habitat with little human manipulation.
Free-grown tea often has its origin in old Miang plantations. Miang refers to fermented leaves of the camellia sinensis assamica plant and is a traditional food among northern Thai farmers.
Experience the unique flavours of sustainably grown tea from different regions of Northern Thailand.
Tea from Fang
This tea comes from one of the highest mountains in Thailand situated in Fang district and is cultivated by a family with a history in tea production.
The business dates back to the 1960s when a Lahu hill tribe leader from Yunnan began planting seeds from the original wild tea plant for personal use alongside his opium plantation. He expanded his farm in 1971 after a visit by the Thai King who provided him with camellia sinensis assamica tea plants in order to replace and eradicate opium production.
Today the wild and gifted plants grow alongside each other and are tended to by his sons and daughters.
Tea from Pai
This old Miang plantation is situated between Pai and Chiang Mai and boasts tea plants up to 300 years old. The tea is left to grow among the forest vegetation in a wild way without being pruned.
In the 1960s, two friends and tea specialists from Yunnan established a tea factory in this Miang plantation. The factory is one of the oldest tea factories in Thailand. Today their daughters run the tea factory.
Tea from Mae Taeng
This tea comes from old Miang trees which were planted in the highland forests of Mae Taeng. The tea trees are pruned to ease picking and yield more buds. The forest is cleared from bushes to facilitate access but all trees are preserved.
Tea from Mae Ai
Monsoon Tea sources both wild and free-grown teas from Mae Ai.
Our jungle tea comes from wild tea bushes in the forests of Mae Ai near the Burmese border. Their isolation means that farmers have to walk for four hours in order to reach the plants. It is a primitive and extremely rare plant yielding a remarkably delicious tea.
Our free-grown tea from Mae Ai stems from an old Miang plantation dating back more than 100 years. The tea flourishes in a mixed forest and fruit orchard environment and is tended to by a family of Miang producers.