I‘ve had a chance to visit Guizhou province, a home province to delicious Chinese tea. Some of the tea plantations there are the biggest in the world! The climate is tea friendly, so the tea plants look healthy and welcoming. You can pick some Chinese tea leaves yourself to try this job if interested in experiencing something new.
It is also refreshing to wander in vast tea plantations and breath clean air. This is especially important as I came here from big Chinese cities.
How to pick Chinese tea leaves?
Actually, picking tea leaves is similar to picking currants from a bush, but you need to know that the best, most valuable tea leaves are the terminal bud and the two leaves on the top of the plant. At first, nobody explained this to me, so my first picks were the biggest lower leaves:)). A local worker approached me, laughed and showed the right way to do it. I was a quick learner and filled my basket rapidly.
Tea picking is a kind of meditation, but it isn’t an easy job as you have to bend your back all the time. The best quality tea is hand-picked. Some tea is machine-collected, but it is of a lower quality. If you want to try tea picking, go to the plantations in spring or summer. After this experience you can go to a Chinese tea-shop to watch or participate in tea processing and enjoy tea tasting. Moreover you can find nice tea-making utensils or beautiful cups there.
What else can you get there?
You need to leave the tea leaves that you’ve collected in the plantation, but you can buy good quality tea instead? High quality tea isn’t cheap – it might cost hundreds or even thousands of euros per 100 g.
Do do you want to learn more about Chinese tea? Have a look at my book www.amazon.com/dp/B074N7PVD8