Yangshuo Tea Plantation
Last Saturday, our Chinese Academy went on a tea picking experience. We went to the famous Seven Star Yangshuo Tea Plantation. A van took us up to the hill where the tea trees are.
In 2004, Annie, an extremely knowledgeable local guide who speaks both French and English, established the Seven Star Tea House. It’s a two floor building with a tea shop downstairs and seated. Air-conditioned tea rooms upstairs serve everything from soft drinks to snacks and, of course, tea. With her team of specially trained staff, she will make you feel welcome and introduce you to drinking tea in Yangshuo.
A unique feature is that it’s the only tea house in Yangshuo with its own tea plantation. In 2009, their tea, Cuiyu Green Tea, won the Guangxi Special prize at a tea tasting competition. Rather like a wine tasting, but better for you perhaps.
After the tea picking, we went to a wooden house to fry the tea leaves. Then, we let them sun-dry. Sometimes, the villagers put the tea into a wok and start to heat it up while turning it around. This definitely speeds up the whole process.
Cuiyu Green Tea
The Cuiyu Green Tea is noted for its clear green colour and fragrant taste of chestnuts and fresh corn. It is exported across China to hotels and tea houses. Annie from Yangshuo Tea Plantation can advise you the different kinds of tea you can buy in Yangshuo. They also sell some exquisite tea wares such as teacups, teapots, tea-trays and tea-tables. These are either made from metal, pottery, porcelain or beautifully carved of wood or bamboo. She can also arrange a tea tasting for individuals or groups, or demonstrate the Chinese tea ceremony. This is a very different experience to the famous Japanese tradition. In China, tea drinking is a very lively and social experience. While there are some formalities, the atmosphere is less serious than its Japanese counterpart.
Yangshuo Tea Plantation offers a tour and the opportunity to pick and dry the tea in the traditional way. This is followed by a tea tasting and introduction to the Chinese tea ceremony. There’s a huge tasting room filled with Chinese families.
Some people have donned the conical hats offered by the plantation and are picking tea. The tour guide has shown us that only the most tender shoots are the ones to be picked.
If you want to visit places like Yangshuo Tea Plantation, join Chinese Academy. Don’t miss out on the fun!