Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Tea Estates of Hongzhou

Having been to many tea estates in India, I thought I had seen every lesson in Tea making.
But on a visit to China, there seemed to be some that existed only in this part of the world and no other. The sprawling lush hillsides of Hongzhou grow 'Lungching' tea. Legend has it that the land once hit by a severe drought was saved by the summoning of a dragon by a local priest. The priest prayed to the dragon imploring it to save the parched lands. The rain clouds opened up at the behest of the dragon and the land flourished once more.. The dragon is still believed to live in the local wells and hence the crops take the name 'Lungching'meaning 'Dragon Well'..


The process of removing moisture from the leaves called dessication is manually done..
Called Pan Drying, we were told this process could take as long as 8 hours. We watched as the deft fingers moved in quick rhythmic movements, untiring and focused..

Pan Drying..

Outside a Tea Factory in Hongzhou..


The Tea manufactured here is mostly green and we tasted a sample before leaving the lovely tea estates of Hongzhou

Meena Venkataraman

3 comments:

  1. Very interesting. No wonder the chinese invented Tea.

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  2. Very nice pic of the pan drying... :) after, a point they are all the same - beaches, hill stattions, yet we find something find new everytime!

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  3. Sankara - Yup thats true and they seem to have developed so many methods intended to preserve flavour

    N- Thanks :). True about travel generally, its not some ideal pursuit..mirrors life.. learn so much...discover so much :)

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