Everyday is full of new things to see and experience. Today we visited the West Lake area and Dragon Well Village the home of the famous Longjing, or Dragon Well, green tea. May 1st - 7th is one of the biggest holidays in China, Labor Day or Golden Week. West Lake is one of the popular destinations for vacationers in China so West Lake Park was full of people. Traveling up Longjing Road higher up the mountain the crowds thinned out and the scenery was breath taking. Everywhere you looked was tea.
Our first stop was the China National Tea Museum, the exclusive national museum devoted to tea culture. The museum opened in 1991 and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a stream adjacent to Wulao Mountain. There was so much to see here, my favorite was the statue of Lu Yu the founder of tea. Once inside we met three university students who were volunteers at the museum, Wendy, Catherine and Alice. They asked if they could join us on our visit to learn more about tea, funny. Catherine was an English major so needless to say there was no communication problems. We learned about the 3 processes of green tea, the many types of oolong tea and pu'erh well I have never seen so much pu'erh. We saw pu'erh cakes of all shapes and sizes. We also saw a display that focused on white teas, yinzhen or silver needle tea especially.
We decided to have lunch at the museum and sat outside with an incredible view of the mountains and surrounding landscape and of course green tea. After lunch, our gracious hosts taught me how to properly harvest two leaves and a bud, which sounds and looks easy but is not!
We continued up the mountain filled with Dragon Well tea eventually getting to the end of the road and the beginning of the climb up the mountain and through the gardens. The views and tea was spectacular!
This is certainly a day that will be etched in my memory for a long time to come.
I will post pictures later today, Beth