We didn’t give up and each male representative of our expedition (me and Tom) bought a roaster/oven, … for tea.
It’s basically a tube that has an electric coil at the bottom to generate heat that slowly roasts/dries the tea on a stainless/bamboo screen. You can set the temperature and the length of the roast (it’s more of a minute alert) and the games can begin.
To add to the fun, we bought a couple of kilos of unwashed maochi… We couldn’t have thought of a sillier idea (at about 11pm the night before we left)… Unwashed maocha – 3,5 kilos has a lot of twigs, yellow leaves, mess in it… and takes up about a metre by metre box. And carry such a bitch (albeit relatively light) in a taxi or subway/train/plane).
Tomas will eventually carry his own part and I will hand-carry my kilos until departure. So here I enjoyed picking tea, folding tea from the truck to the factory, smelling it, watching it oxidize, drying it, processing it on the roller and roasting it… But I missed the picking, so I made it nice. So after the move to the Dragon’s Well, I have the fun taken care of = without the changeover, the play maocha wouldn’t fit in our backpack, so there’s no rest:)