The Jinbaima organic tea cooperative is located outside the small city of Xuanen in Southwest Hubei province. In recent years, Enshi's selenium-rich green tea has become more and more famous within China, also due to local government initiatives to promote Enshi tea as a local specialty product. One of the main sources of Enshi selenium-rich green tea is a government-run farm on a mountain known as Wujiatai, which is not only a popular agri-tourist area, but also located in the same mountains outside Xuanen as the Jinbaima Organic Cooperative. Due to the growing popularity of this specialty product, many small-lot independent farmers have been able to incorporate into larger cooperatives and companies in order to supply the growing demand for their previously unknown tea. The government-run farm is very successful, and it is quite a hungry beast. It has recently been incorporating many of the local cooperatives into its fold, and when outright integration does not occur the state-run farm will buy entire lots of tea production from cooperatives.
This is what happened with the Jinbaima Cooperative: the government had purchased the spring 2018 harvest - that’s right, the entire harvest - so that when we came looking to buy, it was tea that someone already had dibs on. Thus, we were only able to acquire a few kg of this excellent tea. Hopefully next year we can beat the government to pre-order a little more from this organic cooperative.