vendredi 26 octobre 2012

The Wang family, Tea life in Anhui

In the rural Anhui province, tea is almost everywhere. When you want to meet producers, it's often quite an adventure. In Huang Shan (Yellow Mountains), you can find many gardens, producing different types of green teas. Today, we are going to reach a very hidden place, in the middle of nature. Departure from Tunxi (now called Huang Shan City) very early in the morning.

When we arrive in the mountains, the road is getting extremely narrow and winding. And what if we come across another vehicle ? The chinese driver will make it the chinese way: everything's OK, no worry ! And indeed, we crossed one or two vans, very slowly and carefully because there are only a few centimeters between the two vehicles...

We can know see the village with tea all around. A fresh little river is riding down in the middle of the houses. The air is pure and the light sparkles like diamonds.

Passed this village, no way to continue with the van, no more roads. We need to walk for 2 hours to reach our final destination: a tiny hamlet of 3 or 4 houses.

Tea searching is often athletic and challenging. But seeing these nearly wild tea gardens is a delightful and breathtaking reward. The beautiful nature here is literally vibrating under the sun.

Can you just imagine people's lives here ? Some of them live at 2 or 3 hours from the small village. They stride across the mountain when the tea buds are ready to be picked, and so on... We should always think of those who work so hard to make good tea.

The path is narrow and sinuous. The climbing under hot and clear mountain sun is refreshed by the sound of running water and the delicate, tender green buds, while bamboos look like feather fans. Nevertheless, I hope we will reach the Wang's house some day !

After about one hour of walking, here's a house, is it the right one ? No it isn't. We need to continue, at least one hour more.

We are finally not far from the top now (well, not quite). We can notice Mr Wang who's waiting for us. Great ! Let's follow him to the house, made of local clay (not surprising!).

The weather is really hot now, so entering this very cool house is a great relief. Mrs Wang immediately prepares fresh green tea for us, and it feels like heaven.

Here, farmers produce Huang Shan Yun Wu (cloud and mist), or Tun Lu (green gold), which are very affordable, yet high quality teas. Grown in such conditions, tea brings so much energy and positivity. It not only holds the vibration of the place, it's also marked by the farmers one. These teas are pure and simple, just like honest people, they have nothing to hide.

The Tun Lu we are drinking now is very green, with a fruity after-taste. It was absolutely what we needed. Mrs Wang's lunch is about to be ready (11pm).

Such a nice meal, with all sorts of healthy and fresh dishes. Simple and delicious. Chinese meals fulfill all the senses.

The Wang family is so generous and spontaneous. They share very precious moments with us. They show a deep understanding of nature. A little couple of sparrows have made their nest in the living room.

After the meal, Mr Wang takes us to the factory behind the house. The family shares the tea processing machines with a few other farmers.

Some engines are very old, while others are more recent. The whole place has a quiet, mysterious and peaceful atmosphere.

Unfortunately it's going to be time to leave this fabulous place and family because of the journey we still have to do to go back...

My daughter is asleep when it's time to leave. Well, I just have to carry her like a big bag of tea and experience the every day duties of people who live here !

Back to the village and its beauties. The van is waiting for us, we are a bit late on the schedule. It seems I could stay here for ever: such an authentic, wild and calm place.

My heart is full of joy, my whole being is in a peaceful mood. I just want to thank the Wang family for their welcoming and their precious simplicity which is the essence of tea spirit.

2 commentaires:

  1. Incredible journey ! I guess the green tea upon arrival must have been outstanding. Could it have been fresher ?

    Thanks for the illustrated story.

  2. It was incredible and rewarding. The tea had been made a few days ago... Fresh and delightful.

    You're welcome. Thanks for reading and commentating.