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China 2019 Day 5 : Yixing

China 2019 Day 5 : Yixing

Our next and final stop on our trip was a return visit to Yixing.  I had previously been here in 2017 so was now back with to visit our partners and also explore the teaching element of the Yixing landscape more closely with a visit to the school of Master Ji whose daughter Joyce helped us to write the introduction to Yixing in our book Tales of the Tea Trade .  The day started with the high speed train from Shanghai to Yixing - very easy and efficient.  We were very lucky that our partner and friend Mr Fan and his wife came to...

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China day 4 : Mr Nankang & the ancient tea trees of the Bulang [Jingmai mountain Pt 2]

China day 4 : Mr Nankang & the ancient tea trees of the Bulang [Jingmai mountain Pt 2]

The next day we rose early to enjoy a mountain breakfast of Bao, black rice porridge and eggs....mountain food for the day ahead.  We were to spend the day with Mr NanKang who I had previously met in 2017.  Mr Nan was in fact the motivation for writing our book : after experiencing this beautiful landscape and the flavourful tea produced here Mr Nan had firmly taken my hand and told me to share the story of this place, these people and their ancient tea trees more widely.  When the opportunity came to write our book it was this man and these mountains...

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China Day 3 : Into the Ancient Tea Forest with 聂江新 & 艾京 [Jingmai mountain Pt 1]

China Day 3 : Into the Ancient Tea Forest with 聂江新 &  艾京 [Jingmai mountain Pt 1]

Arriving at Mr Nankangs was like arriving home.  We took the car from Mr Xus and as time passed the landscape started to change.  It was clear that we were headed for the mountains.  We arrived at the gate that signalled the entry point to the Jingmai mountains and I felt a sense of excitement.   We made the now usual stop at the raised platform and scenic spots on the winding road up the hill and took in the incredible view in front of us.   The road up to the mountains is winding but well paved with cobbled...

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China Day 2 : Mr Xu & Menglian

China Day 2 : Mr Xu & Menglian

Having arrived late into Menglian we rise early the next day to head to the tea cooperative run by Mr Xu. I had last visited here in 2017 and fallen in love with the mission of the team here and of course the quality and profile of the tea The cooperative was founded in 2005 when, in response to a call from the government, Mr Xu and a number of his trusted colleagues from Bao Shan City : Teng Chong, came to this area to start a tea cooperative. Tea was not new to Mr Xu he is a 5th...

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China 2019 : Day 1 : Kunming & Mengku Puer with Mrs Zhao

China 2019 : Day 1 : Kunming & Mengku Puer with Mrs Zhao

Like any good day in china we started with noodles, greens and omelette at a small store on the roadside - very welcome after a long trip which saw us finally arrive in Kunming the evening before.   Felling ready for the day ahead we headed to the tea market to meet with Mr Ni and Mrs Zhao who I had previously visited in 2017 [pictured below - entrance to Kunming Market] We started chatting over our first tea - a sheng puer that they refer to as "old and pollarded" - meaning that back in the 1950s and 60s they...

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