Mr. Li picks us up first thing in the morning and we are off to the factory where we are able to meet the rest of the staff, see their current facility expansion and see how these exceptional works of art are produced.
The process for making these teas is done completely by hand. The leaves are selected and individually gathered together, cut and tied. Once this preparation is complete the individual flowers are hand sewen into the leaves. If no additional flowers are going to be added the teas are then set on drying trays and placed on a rack inside a drying machine.
The atmosphere at the factory is very friendly and down to earth. The artist making the teas are quick to share a "hello" and a smile with me. Each place you visit in China has its own energy and this one is good. You can sense that this is an easy going, comfortable place to work.
We go to another area of the factory where a different variety of flowering teas are being produced and Amy and I each make a flowering tea, sewing on the flower blossom to the already formed tea leaves. As most things the workers make a hard task look easy and Amy and I decide we better keep our day jobs.
Mr. Li is also quite nice and very down to earth. We have the opportunity to cup some incredible teas before heading out to lunch and the tea institute. The new flowering tea I have selected is really cool, it is actually blossoms from the tea plant! Camellia Beauty, the name, will arrive out our warehouse in mid May. I am also very fond of the spring Bai Hao Yinzhen, one more tea to consider as I select the best teas for sale back in the US.