After a delicious lunch we make the trip up into the mountains for a rare opportunity to visit the Tea Research Institute Fujian Academy of Agriculture Sciences! Not open to the public Mr.Li's partner knows someone at the institute so we get an inside look.
The mountains are lovely. When we enter the gates a large stone statue of Lu Yu is appropriately located in the courtyard of the institute. Lu Yu is the father of tea and my personal hero.
As we get close to the entrance I encounter a familiar smell, the sweet, intoxicating aroma of freshly heated tea leaves. There is no other aroma quite like it and I pause for a moment to capture and inhale this delightful perfume. There is no way to describe this scent or to reproduce it that I know of, I wish I could share it with you because it is amazing!
We enter the institute and find a man and woman making tea and watch as they prepare the freshly harvested leaves. After observing for a while and checking out the place we head to the mountains for a closer look at the tea plants.
This is my favorite part and definitely the reason I love to visit China. We head up the mountains and before long the steep climb has warmed us up. In every direction there is nothing but tea, each hill, mountain and valley all tea! A beautiful stream runs along side the mountains below and I take it all in, beautiful.