Hot Tea Month 2018 – 1 January – What’s in your cup?
As we kick off Hot Tea Month 2018 – 1 January – What’s in your cup? Today, I am brought back to Long Jing Village in the West Lake region Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province of China. This – the spot of a short, but most memorable adventure. This featured photo pictures the tea glass half full! A lovely hostess swiftly refilled the glass with piping hot mountain spring water at or about this point.
Although, our travel to Long Jing Village, was after the plucking season but there was Dragon-well aplenty! Our hotel which sat right on West Lake refilled our tea box everyday with packets of loose leaf dragon-well tea. Each restaurant served this same tea without asking a choice. We were there to enjoy the local tea, and enjoy we did!
This local tea was so fresh and aromatic and its taste, slightly sweet and nutty. Among our fondest memories of Hangzhou is the taste of this tea, that is forever embedded. The hospitality of the people at our hotel was second to none, the tea houses and restaurants, taxicab drivers, museum staff, and those we met in the tea fields all left us with a heartwarming feeling. Language was a tough one away from the major cities, but even when words were difficult to understand, communication (combined with lots of smiles and laughter) always found a way.
The Tea Association of the USA helped us make contacts in China to enhance our tea travel interests. Our contacts graced us with a daylong complimentary guided tour of tea fields, meals, meeting and tastings with Tea distributors, tours of packaging plants and an afternoon at the University of Zhejiang speaking with students and professors at School of Tea Science and School of Tea Culture. We will never forget the kindness and generosity by our guides.
Finally, remember that tea really does bring people together. We are using this celebratory month designated as Hot Tea Month to share even more stories of our tea adventures. Stay tuned, check back often and raise your cup to toast all the friends you have shared with over a cup of tea.