Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pu'er Pilgrimage

With directions from a tea store owner in MengHai, we headed into the hills to find the old tea fields. The directions were sketchy not only because they involved unmarked mountian roads that began 20 km out of town, but also because they were described in Chinese sometime past midnight over our fifth pot of pu'er.

We did not set off early the next morning. Those lacking experience be warned: a pu'er hangover can be tough to deal with. It's is best cured with a lot of water and another strong cup of tea.

After climbing to an elevation of around 1700 meters on a rough road, getting lost in an old village, avoiding a local guide, and finally getting more much needed directions, we finally got onto some nice dirt tracks that lead into the fields. That's a stunted tea tree on the left side of the road.

A look back at the hills and some smaller tea trees on the left.

This is one of the oldest tea farmers in the area. Note the look of concentration as he busily tends to his trees.

This tree is said to be 700 or 800 years old.

As I understand it, tea actually originated in this area. Probably not in this field or anything, but this county has apparently been producing tea for thousands of years.

Old trees = big tea leaves.

We bought some "big tree tea" in town that we occasionaly mix in with the morning pot of Pu'er.

Tea in the initial stages of fermentation.

That's about all I've got concerning tea.

Now we are in JianShui, a city with a great old section of town. Tonight we are heading to a local tea house we scoped out last night for some song and dance, and probably some gong fu, all of course over tea.

I like tea.


marcandorkylie said...

Aaron, I must say you make a very attractive old team farmer. :) Kylie

marcandorkylie said...

oops i mean tea farmer but maybe somewhere else in the world you would make an attractive team farmer

Anonymous said...

So far, what is your favorite tea. Please tell me about the tea there and how you feel about Pu'er. By the way, I like your bamboo hat.