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Tea tour is a drug

Puer tea producer Mr. Zhao Tian

All life is an experiment, the more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Believe it or not, you will love it more than you thought after that travel, as you will jump into tea and have really true feelings about tea, the tea world will open to you instantly.

A friend ever complained that she still doesn’t GET Puer although had steeped so many Puer teas for so many years, I said “maybe all you need is a Yunnan tea travel, leave the city you are living everyday and lay down the love and hate there. In the wild Yunnan, with new people, new air, you will get more than tea after speaking to the local farmer and that ‘more’ might be the key to a new world.”

We people are human beings not robot, we can try to understand the world by reading but not everything is built on papers or numbers especially when talking about tea, we need to touch it, feel it then get it into our body.

I still can remember how humble of our host in Nan Nuo Mountain, you will not think of hospitable or welcoming that normally we encounter, he was just there with you naturally without any extra polish, like the tree stand with the tree, I feel calm and very comfortable. He belongs to Ani People, a branch of Hani People. In my idea, he is not a very good tea producer but absolutely a good cooker, his mom was plucking tea in their forest, like any mom she has a very sweet big smile when talking about his son, “he is kind of lazy.” without any blame, we can feel the proudness and love. We met a simple yet beautiful soul.

A cat walk in the old tea forest.
Cat walking in old tea forest

Food is a gift for tea man

Speaking of cooking, not just book, house or language can represent a culture, food also can be a very nice ambassador or even a better one. “Do not eat too much.” that’s my warning words when out for a tea travel.

If there is good tea, there must have good food.

Daniel XX H

The nature is very generous if we treat her well, all kinds of mushrooms, wild vegetables etc, all so charming, the processing can be very simple, actually it is, most of the meals I had on the tea travel are not complexly cooked, it’s just tasted so good. It’s very difficult to have such kind of food in the city.

Cook egg with fresh tea leaves
Cook eggs with fresh Puer tea leaves

Pick some tea leaves, an iron pan, several eggs and a little salt, fire it up with dried branches, drinking tea alongside while wait for the tea egg, what I can assure you is this is really a different egg.

Know tea by eating

Have you ever seen somebody use hot water wash apples? This might be odd, yes this was very odd to me when the first time I saw a foreigner do this, now I get it even suggest foreign tea friends don’t eat not-cooked food or drink local raw water, like the old Chinese saying indicates, “The unique features of a local environment always give special characteristics to its inhabitants.”

Let’s take chilli as an example, in Wuyi Mountain people prefer to spicy food as this can help them survive through cold winter. Also regarding meal, you will always get large, this is connected to its enthusiastic and simple folkways. Thus you will not surprised they chose the traditional charcoal roasting for rock tea to get much stronger, more complex tasting while in the south of Fujian, Anxi county evolved into a lighter greener version of iRON Goddess of Mercy.

Actually in a lot of tea production areas, people do not say “drink tea” instead they say “eat tea”, another reason to this tradition is to local people tea is a must for human body just as important as food.

Pay more for tea

This might sound stupid but it’s really really true, a friend ever took a tea travel with me to Wuyi Mountain, actually we went to an unknown area that just neighbor to Tong Mu Guan that belongs to another city, almost no tourist there, undeveloped forest and lake, old wooden houses and wild tea plants, they all just sit there, some tea plants have serious damage by insects but don’t worry, it will go away when the summer leave, no human intervention at all.

The view there is gorgeous, people are nice but their tea processing skill is not as good as it should be, still we bought the tea with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I asked my friend why he made that order, he said:”It’s just all damn beautiful!”

Besides it’s a huge fun to cup all teas that got from the travel with friends, agree? 🙂

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Tea fantasy – 7 days in Anxi

Next month my Chicago brother Jiaoshou will visit China to stay with us for a week. He has plans to open a tea class at his college. The plan is for us to spend the whole week in Anxi county exploring tea, but there are no details yet. What can we do in those seven days?

My first thought is that we absolutely must drink the best tea there. There are so many famous tea varieties, all of them excellent, in Anxi. Continue reading Tea fantasy – 7 days in Anxi