During my tea trips to the hillsides of the Chinese tea mountains, I had the privilege of meeting many farmers, tea masters, tea lovers, and tea merchants. I loved their smiles, warmth and generosity.
These photos are from my October 2015 trip to Anxi, Fujian province, the origin of the most famous Chinese Oolong tea, Tie Guan Ying, or Iron Goddess of Mercy. The two farmers seen in the first picture were so happy to see us stop by and to chat with them about this year’s harvest. Throughout the conversation, their happy expression remained unchanged. At that moment, I felt they were the most beautiful people in all the earth. The second picture is of the tea master Zhou who accompanied me on the rustic hidden mountain roads in search for the wild tea tree. We were very happy to see many such tea trees with blooming flowers. These are the precious moments that keep me upbeat and help me to understand another important aspect of tea. Tea is more than just a healthy drink. It carries with it the caring and joyous spirit of its growers and has deepened my appreciation and respect for tea.