The Special taste and aroma of fresh Chinese tea…
A fascinating and sensual experience in the motherland of tea – China
The 2011 Spring Tea Harvest Tour is specially designed for tea lovers, tea explorers and people who simply want to release their stress and discover Chinese culture.
After a long flight, we will relax in an historical area of tea farms in Dongting, Suzhou – the original source of Biluochun tea. Many tea gardens and tea houses are waiting for you to experience plucking tea, processing tea, and to savor the freshest tea while you watch the local “biluochun” ladies picking tea in the tea gardens. Here you can feel the strong customs and traditions of tea and be completely surrounded by authentic tea garden life. In the afternoon, we will visit the ancient village of Lugang.
We will visit the unique and breathtaking Suzhou gardens, with their ethereal beauty and classical design. These gardens were the perfect environment for scholars in the Ming Dynasty and were a haven in which calligraphy, paintings, music and many poems were composed.
We will take a short bus trip to Yixing, where we will visit the Yixing Zisha Research
Institute and a ceramic company owned by one of the most famous art and craft masters in China. We will also meet master potters and learn the process of making clay tea wares.
We will ride through the amazing and unique Shanjuan caves on a barge, where we can admire the bizarre shapes of the many cave formations, then make teapots and other items from clay, which you can take home with you.
Later we will visit the Chinese Ceramics Museum and a ceramics market to understand the importance of zisha teapots for brewing a fine cup of oolong tea, to interview the potters and shop for your favorite zisha tea wares.
We will take the bus to visit the source of a special and unique green tea called Anji Baicha. It contains about 3 times more amino acids than any other green tea, and the leaves change color according to different temperatures. We will also visit a thousand-year-old ancestral Anji baicha tea tree up in the mountains. There we will meet a fellow known locally as “Uncle Gui,” who does not want to go anywhere but stays to care for this ancient tea tree like his child. He is the 13th generation of his family with this responsibility.
Anji is also known as “the capital of bamboo.” Bamboo has long been associated with tea, painting, natural beauty and peace in China and other Asian countries (e.g. Korea and Japan). We are going to see over 380 kinds of bamboo from all over of the world in a beautiful huge bamboo garden where we can enjoy the sights, sounds and then even taste different cooking styles for fresh bamboo shoots. This special place embodies the thousands of years of bamboo history and culture in China. In the afternoon, we will have more fun at the biggest waterfall area in Zhejiang province.
We are nearing the capital of tea and capitol of the Southern Song Dynasty. We will stay in a tea village which is a major producer of Dragon Well – aka Longjing tea. We will observe and learn the hand processing of Longjing, and then savor the freshest and most authentic tea with real local delicious organic farmers’ food. We will have organic vegetables, and 100% free range chicken (which will taste much more flavorful than any chicken you had in the USA), local wild vegetables and signature dishes prepared with fresh tea. By trying our hands at processing tea, eating farm food and living with the farmers, we will immerse ourselves in Chinese countryside tea culture.
We will stay in a traditional building next to Hangzhou’s famous West Lake. We will visit the National Tea Museum, have a tea class with a certified tea master and then have tea made with water from the famous Long Pau Hu spring (of course, water is very important, and is known in Chinese as “the mother of tea”). After that, we will visit a temple located just next to our hotel.
We will ride bikes around the West Lake, enjoy the beautiful landscape with its pavilions, willows, lotus flowers, etc. and visit one of many teahouses where we can enjoy tea with many different Chinese snacks and deserts while watching the waves of the lake. We will visit the Hu xue Yan complex, which houses a large classical garden that rivals the best gardens of Suzhou.
We will visit Qing He Fang Avenue, with architecture, decorations, and shops dating back to the Qing Dynasty. It has a famous old traditional Chinese medicine shop and century-old teahouse; in addition it’s an ideal place to purchase little gifts such as Chinese crafts, silk, etc. for family and friends back in the USA. You are free to shop in the morning, and then we will travel to Huangshan in the afternoon.
We will visit a factory owned by the third generation of the family of the creator of Huangshan Maofeng, followed by a tea museum, and then another factory that produces the unique tea Taiping Houkui. We will meet tea masters from both factories and learn special processing details about both teas.
Day 12 and 13:
Visiting Huangshan, where one feels as if one is in a Chinese landscape painting with ancient pine trees, odd rocks and waterfalls, where we can stay overnight on the mountaintop and watch the sunrise the following morning, refreshed and inspired by the vast landscape with its infinity of distinctive peaks, cliffs, and a cup of simple fresh tea.
Going to Qimen city to visit a Qimen black tea factory; talking to tea masters; learning about the production of one of the world’s most famous black teas; visiting the gardens that produce Qimen black tea.
We will visit the ancient streets of Tunxi, in Huangshan city, which has more than 400 years of history. Buildings with different architectural styles remain from the Dong, Ming and Qing dynasties, with additional elements distinctive to local vernacular architecture. We will experience local culture and history in the morning and have some free time to wander and discover more…
We return to Shanghai and prepare to fly home.
Please note that there are a lot of details, events, activities, and places we haven’t listed here yet. The trip will be full of fun, education, surprise, exploration, adventure, relaxation and natural beauty.
To book your tour
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Leave a message at 425-200-5318
The Cha Dao Foundation
1531 1st Ave # 509
Seattle WA 98101