On the outskirts of Guilin is a place called the Guilin Tea Research Institute, basically, a tea plantation that offers tours and insight into all things tea. You can access the institute fairly easily by taxi from the downtown city center and it’s a splendid little trip into the countryside. While here, I also got to watch a tea ceremony and taste several varieties of tea. I also donned a silly hat and got to pick some tea myself, but I shall spare you those images. I will say my guide, Kevin (pictured above) did tell me I was slow but managed to get a leaf or two.
I actually learned a lot about tea here. They are very knowledgeable and offered up a lot of facts about all things tea. It was a fascinating visit, if ever in the area I will most certainly go back again. It was a really unique experience, getting to see the types of tea and sharing in all things tea, not to mention the grounds were just so beautiful and peaceful.
Some notes on the images:
- Shed with Hats-this little shed was home to the triangular hats you might associate with China and all things tea. It also marked the start of the path into the grounds of the plantation.
- Tea in the Wild-while this might look like an ordinary bush, this is actually a tea plant growing on the plantation.
- Kevin-one of my guides, Kevin, showing me a tea leaf in a hat. He had recently picked the leaf from the bushes behind him (yes, if you’re wondering, he was much faster at picking the tea than I was.)
- Tea Ceremony-the various bowls and bits that they use to prepare tea for the ceremony.
- Pouring Tea-here’s she’s actually pouring the tea for us after preparing it. During the ceremony, we were offered a variety of five different types of tea.
- Little Tea Cup-this cup is filled with something they called a “ladies tea” since it was light and subtle. While I am usually a fan of dark teas, I really enjoyed this light “ladies” tea.
Until next time…