Every year in early April, around the time of the Tomb Sweeping Festival (April 5th), it is regarded the best time to pick and enjoy spring tea.
Eight Fans are installed in the Longjing Tea Garden. They will be used to defrost the tea field when temperatures drop below 4 degree Celsius. The fans will turn on automatically. [Photo: ycwb.com]
Every year in early April, around the time of the Tomb Sweeping Festival (April 5th), it is regarded the best time to pick and enjoy spring tea. An array of activities including tea picking, tea urchasing, as well as appreciating various tea ceremonies, all together convey the message 'it's tea time now!'
When flowers are blooming and trees are budding, a trip to the hometown of different types of tea can be a refreshing and fragrant getaway for many nature lovers.
Staff at Meijiawu Tea Shop frying the fresh tea leaves. [Photo: sina.com]
1. Meijiawu, Hangzhou: Longjing tea
In east China's Hangzhou city, which is dubbed 'paradise on earth' in numerous Chinese poems, there is a rustic Meijiawu Tea Cultural Village tucked inside the greenery of the mountains and waters. Tea houses join each other at 'snaking tranquil creek', while the fragrance of tea is in the air. Fresh tea leaves are poured into a large wok, and stir fried a few times. After that, the dry tea is wrapped with kraft, and put into an urn filled with lime, so as to refine the smell of the fresh tea. In addition to watching how tea is produced you will also enjoy an authentic tea ceremony.
During holidays or weekends, Meijiawu village is extremely busy with crowds of people sipping supreme Longjing tea. But if you dont enjoy crowds a walk in the lush tea garden is also worth trying.
In the village there is a memorial hall displaying precious files and photos of late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and other leaders.
Meijiawu offers delicious local delicacies, such as Longjing Prawns, stir fry bamboo roots, and much more.
Staff at Meijiawu Tea Fry Center showing their tea frying skills. [Photo: sina.com]
2. Emei Xueya Biological Tea Garden
If you visit Emei Mountain in southwest China's Sichuan Province around the time of the Tomb Sweeping Festival, you will likely encounter tea monks picking the tea sprouts in the snow-capped mountains. You can learn from experienced teachers about how to pick the youngest tea sprouts. Stir frying the tea is also interesting, along with the graceful tea ceremony performances.
Xueya refers to tea sprouts grown from under the snow. After an exhausting day of tea picking, a cup of Xueya tea will rid you of fatigue and anxiety.
Newly picked tea leaves being aired.[Photo: ycwb.com]
3. Mt. Dongting, Suzhou. Biluochun green tea.
Mt. Dongting is situated to the southeast of Taihu Lake. It boasts the best Biluochun green tea. Biluochun tea needs to be planted in a mix with peach, plum, persimmon, orange and other fruit trees, so that the tea has a sweet fruity smell. Therefore, when watching the tea trees, you can also enjoy the full blooms of various flowers.
4. Wenxian County, Gansu. Maojian, Longjing, Yuzechun tea.
Wenxian County in west China's Gansu Province is known as an oasis in the vast dry west region. It boasts a great many tea varieties, such as Yuhe Maojian, Liziba Longjing, Yuzechun, to name just a few.
The annual tea festival at Wenxian features an array of song and dance performances, tea skills presentations, and tea related talk shows. And the most attractive thing is a fresh tea auction at which Tea peasants bring out their treasured home-grown teas, many of which are of premium quality.
The trip to Wenxian will not disappoint you. You may see many endangered wild species as well as the well-known Yangtang Heaven Lake and Bikou Reservoir will be a highlight of your journey. Besides, don't miss the famous local food, Lanzhou noodles.