March 23, 2019 Part 2 of West Lake Park in Hangzhou, China
More pictures of West Lake. The rest of my trip was relatively quiet, except I really enjoyed my shower at the Hilton at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, it was a godsend. Who knew $7.42 was so worth it. I had only 8 – 10 hours of sleep in four days and had not changed clothes until I got to the Hilton. I felt alive again.
I sincerely had a great time in China. The people who I met in the tea industry and the Chinese people at large were lovely. Cannot wait until I can visit China again and see my fellow tea people again!
Not sure why I am taking 4 weeks to discuss one day. I had tons of pictures in the beginning too. The Houtu tea factory, museum, and tasting room were gorgeous to see.
The first two pictures are us walking into Houtu. The pillar in these photos has the history of tea on it. The next picture is of a stone used to grind matcha tea. Next four pictures are artifacts used to make traditional Lung Ching aka Dragonwell green tea.
I really liked the detail of the place as you can see with my several photos of the architecture and decor. One of the rooms had people grinding fresh matcha and allowed us to try some. It was tasty but still prefer Japanese matcha. One of the pictures has a traditional English tea set up, which made Sharon Hall feel really happy and a little homesick. Several photos of the architecture and decor again, including the tree lights and the tea cut out of the building to bring in light. The last photo is of us seeing their machinery to produce matcha tea at the factory. If you notice the feet we had to put on blue footies over our shoes in the factory, not a fashion statement, lol.
The next two weeks will be pictures of West Lake and me discussing the rest of my trip because I did not take many photos at the end.
In the morning we traveled towards Hangzhou and had lunch at a delish restaurant that was right next to the Houtu tea factory, museum, and tasting room. We did a tour of the factory and it was very nice to see. The head of the Houtu factories was nice enough to transport, feed, and lodge us for a night in Hangzhou. There were about two dozen people and we were able to see West Lake.
The first four pictures are on the way to the restaurant. The next three are from the restaurant. The features picture is of Kyle taking a picture of our appetizers. We had two rooms for our group. You can see a bit of our second room in the featured picture.
I have a few pictures of the Houtu Tea Factory, Museum, and Tasting Room which I will show next week and the week after some of my photos of West Lake. West Lake really deserves two posts for all the lovely pictures.
We were busy in the meetings all day. We were going to go to another tea farm, but it got canceled so we were deciding if we should go to Shanghai. We were about to go there, but the owner of the Houtu graciously decided to host about 2 dozen people and to see another of his tea farm and factory. He also gave us enough time to see part of West Lake. Not too many pictures, but did have fun that evening. The Thai delegation was great at doing the reggaeton.
Well, this was a busy day. I mentioned the morning last week and this week I will do the afternoon and evening. We went to the 2019 Zhejiang Longjing Tea Stir Fixation Competition. It was really nice to see. We were lucky because some of us were able to try pan-firing (fixating) the dragonwell orLongjing green tea. I have tons of videos from the event and even was able to purchase some high-grade Longjing at the Festival. We were also able to get behind the ropes too. We were also able to really get to see a tea farm. This was the most extensive of walking and being with the tea plants. I enjoyed it immensely. The welcome dinner was this night. I did not take as many dinner photos, I guess I was too busy enjoying myself. Also please click on the links to shorter videos I took. Most are under a minute long,
The first photo is someone in the competition. The second and third photo are pictures of the head of the English tea association. The fourth photo is finished longjing. The fifth photo is fresh tea before it becomes longjing. The sixth photo is comparing the fresh with the finished product. The rest are pictures of our visit to the tea farm.
The last day in Yibin was filled with exploring the place we had the 1st Confederation of International Tea Smallholders (CITS) Meeting. The place had a greenhouse and tea gardens. We took a tour and were entertained until the meeting. The meeting was informative because we were shaping the documents and the tone of the CITS. Afterward, we had lunch and went to the airport to get on Tibetan Air to Hangzhou.
Was a little sad because we had to say goodbye to some really nice people who were not going to the First International Green Tea Conference in Shengzhou with us. Once we got to Hangzhou we took a bus to Shengzhou where our hotel was. When we arrived we went to our rooms and went to a dining hall to eat a late meal.
The last two photos are the inside of Yibin Airport.
The Raabs and I did go to the Specialty Tea Exhibit again on the morning of March 19, 2019. We were able to see the whole exhibition, the day before we were only there for about a half hour to hour. When you have about eight people it is harder to a quick look at all the exhibitors. We just really went to one booth and only looked at 2 -3 booths. The Raabs and I were able to see all of the booths and taste many, many teas. Later on, we had to get back for the business side of our trip. Learning about tea trends across the world from the heads of the tea industry for each country. It was interesting hearing from the supply side and the demand side. Also, it depends on the wealth of the country what they were looking for too.
One thing I can definitely say is we did not have to worry about having enough food or tea. The dinners pictures below combined, plus add twice as much food. This does not include meals between meals and for the tea as much hot water and tea as you could drink. This was the going away dinner, but all dinners had at least double the amount of food pictured in both photos for 10 people per table. They had to stack the dishes on top of dishes because there was no room on the tables.
After a good night’s rest on March 17, 2019, woke up and ate a lovely breakfast. After breakfast, we were shuttled to a Tea Tasting Ceremony at the Yangtze River Park in Yibin near the site where two rivers form the Yangtze River.
It was a little drizzly so we got ponchos, but I did not wear one. Since I was one of the VIP’s we got nice close seating to the festivities. There were dance numbers, different stories and myths, water transported by a drone to tea tasting ceremony, and a grand spectacle.
Afterward, I was given a formal invite to speak with tea gardens to sell their tea from China and abroad. This is where I met some Nepali people (fellow vegetarians so I followed them through the buffet) they had a person tell them what was vegetarian and what was not.
Walking to Yangtze River Park for the Tea Tasting Ceremony.
Tasting some tea from the local vendors before the ceremony
There also were a few dance numbers. Below is a picture of the drone carrying water from the Yangtze River to be used in the tea ceremony shown in the second to last picture. The last picture is me and my tea. It was refilled with water several times.
This Saturday I will hopefully be doing a Japanese tea tasting and Japanese tea history. Hopefully Friday I will hear good news about a potential prospect. Today I had a meeting with a lady to partner with her and someone else, details will come once some things get more formalized. Next Monday evening I will be teaching another free Tea 101 class, aka intro to tea.
I think my next post will be more informative than telling my goings on. Hopefully, my writing will also be better than that last sentence, lol.
I am glad I did not have to drive Monday. Not sure how the roads were, but it did look pretty out the window. It was a little perpetual snowfall throughout the day like a snow globe. Monday was the perfect day to cozy up with a cup of tea and a blanket.
Have a few more events happening. I am doing a tea tasting series at Amery Ale Works. The first one is called Japanese Tea Tasting and will be
I will also be teaching two Tea 101 classes, Tea Health class, and Different Tea Cultures class at 9th Street Wellness Center in Green Bay. It is not until February so check back with the 9th Street Wellness Center events page for my classes.