The Xiangmiao Cooperative is a successful and entirely Miao minority tea producers located in the rural mountains of Hunan.
In order to get to the Hulu Village, wherein the Xiangmiao Cooperative is located, one must begin their journey either in Jishe or Taiping Village.
If coming from Taiping, one must cross a hand-pulled ferry between jagged cliffs.
If coming from Jishou, one must brave the hour long switchback road leading up to the village.
Either path proves how remote the village is. This isolation is a blessing and a curse. One good thing about their remoteness is that it has preserved much of the Miao Traditional Culture, in fact the Hulu Village is one of the last areas in China where the Miao dialect exists as a daily language.
The Miao culture is also very apparent, from diet, to clothes, to housing, and language.
One downside about the isolation is the economic development of the region. Before the Xiangmiao Cooperative began producing Golden Green Tea, much of the village survived off subsistence farming with very little expendible income.
This year, they have begun construction on a highway that will connect the rural village with larger roads and towns. This should improve the development of the village in the way of restaurants, hotels, and of course improve the tea trade.
In fact, there are no hotels or restaurants in this area. To be in the village is to entirely rely on the generosity of a host family or the tea farmers.
The tea here is grown, picked, produced, and sold all by Miao members of the village, and creates a level of economic solidarity rarely surpassed within or without China.