It was nearly the end of October and it had been raining pretty much solidly for three days.
I had thought it might ease up and was contemplating starting to look for some Autumn tea, which can sometimes be quite good, but the rainy season effectively didn’t stop. I called a couple of tea farmers in the Yiwu area who said there was little to no tea. Even if daytime temperatures are fairly high, overnight temperatures can drop considerably.
Once that happens, old tea trees stop flushing. So that was the end of that. It’s been the wettest Autumn since I’ve been in Xishuangbanna, which is nine years.
It’s bad news for tea farmers because, whilst Autumn tea doesn’t fetch Spring tea prices, and the volume is somewhat less, it means a portion of their annual income has just disappeared.