I can’t believe two weeks have passed since I returned from my tea tour in Fujian Province. The trip started with my attendance at Xiamen International Tea Fair and then joining a group to visit the growing and processing area for Tie Guan Yin called Anxi as well as spending time in WuYiShan—birthplace of rock teas such as Da Hong Pao.
I can only describe the experience as magical…which is exactly how I felt after my first tea tour in China. Being in China among tea people, picking tea in remote areas, tasting tea, watching how it is processed and spending time with so many talented, and welcoming tea people touches and changes you like nothing else.
The Tea Fair, which was pretty much Chinese teas, was a great learning experience–to see everything that was being offered and to taste some award-winning teas. There is little English language spoken in China and I was lucky to attend the Fair with Dan Robertson, the leader of our tea tour—he is fluent in Mandarin.
The latest craze in Chinese black tea is Jin Ji Mei and there were many purveyors–eager for attendees to try their version. Supposedly, Jin Ji Mei comes from the same cultivar as Lapsang Souchong, but uses only the bud, and is not smoked. It is a lovely, smooth Chinese black tea with wonderful deep cocoa notes.
We also tasted different pu’erhs, Tie Guan Yins (roasted and unroasted), and rock teas from WuYiShan. There were also beautiful handmade Yixing pottery teapots being offered (I bought two).
In my next blog, I’ll get into the actual tour and all our wonderful experiences in Xiamen and Anxi.