Tea has always been an important part of Chinese culture. The making of tea is called Chá Dào (功夫茶道) which literally means ‘tea brewed with great skill’ and the art of brewing and serving tea plays a major cultural role in China. It is a time to unwind and socialize with friends while enjoying the smell and taste of fine quality teas. Tea culture also reflects the history and traditional values of Chinese culture and the people here celebrate the old ways now with a tasty cup of tea. It is said that when you get up in the morning there are seven things to think about: oil, salt, wood, rice, soy sauce, vinegar and tea! One of the most knowledgeable tea producers and tea guides in the area is Annie who has lived in Yangshuo for over twenty years. Annie’s family got involved with the tea business after her brother saw that as people’s lives were improving the popularity of tea drinking was growing. Seeing an opportunity to invest, in 2000 her family started to plant tea trees on a mountain close to her village, Jiaobalin. Now the Seven Stars Tea Plantation covers 40 hectares of mountainside and produces over 40 tons of the finest quality organic green tea.
In 2009 their tea, Cuiyu Green Tea, won the Guangxi Special prize at a tea tasting competition, rather like a wine tasting but better for you perhaps. The Cuiyu Green Tea, noted for its clear green colour and fragrant taste of chestnuts and fresh corn is exported across China to hotels and tea houses. At the tea plantation you will not only get a tour but also get to pick and dry the tea in the traditional way followed by a tea tasting and introduction to the Chinese tea ceremony. They also have a Tea House in Yangshuo where you can sample and buy locally and national produced tea.
The tea plantation is located 12km North of Yangshuo along the highly scenic and hilly village road to Husband Mountain and ancient Stone Village with beautiful views across the Li River valley, rice fields, kumquat orchards and lot’s of fresh air. This beautiful and quiet route through rural villages where you can witness their traditional way of life is discussed on our Yangshuo cycling tours page.