In Ya’an and Leshan Prefectures in central Sichuan Province, China, wild pandas have been reported rampaging through area tea gardens in isolated mountain locations, tearing wildly at tender leaf growth on the tea bushes. This unusual behavior is rarely documented, but is being blamed in part by the recent spate of drought conditions in western China. Rain is crucial to both the growth of bamboo and of course, fresh tea leaf.
This is the most sensitive time of the year in the tea gardens. The early spring tea harvest is underway and the leaves are the smallest and most tender, and, no doubt, the tastiest to the pandas. Our Sichuan colleagues have told us that tea workers are desperately trailing along behind the marauding pandas ( at safe distances ) in order to pick up and salvage as many of the discarded tea leaves as possible and bring them to the tea factories for processing. Whenever the pandas are spotted moving into the tea gardens, the tea pluckers move away to keep a safe distance from the usually secretive and shy animals. Everyone is hoping for minimal damage to the tea bushes in the gardens during this strange event.
This leaf is being processed and marketed as Panda Plucked Tea. When can we expect to receive a shipment of this special tea ? See below.
April Fools Prank !
Tea hee hee….