The best Chinese destinations for tea lovers

photo by Francis Chung

In the Western world, the British are famous for their love of tea, but their tea-obsession is nothing compared to the reverence with which tea is treated in China. Chinese tea, as opposed to 5 o’clock tea parties, is not just a daily occurrence meant for socialization – it is a way of life. The Chinese are the original tea drinkers, who have discovered the wonderful taste and health benefit of tea thousands of years ago. The practice of tea preparation and tea drinking has come a long way since a tea leaf fell into the cup of Emperor Shennong more than 4500 years ago, and has rise to the level of art. There are lots of destinations in China that will send a serious tea fan straight into paradise, and it would be too difficult to even count them all! Here are some of the best Chinese destinations for tea lovers.

China National Tea Museum, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province

It’s hardly a surprise that there is a national tea museum in China – after all, the art of tea preparation is one of the oldest Chinese arts, and among the most valuable too. This museum is an excellent introduction to the history of tea for those who love the beverage but don’t know all there is to know about it. From tea growing to the manufacture of different types of tea and their traditional preparation, you will find all your tea-related questions answered.

Huashan Teahouse, Mt Hua, Shaanxi province

photo by Renato Ganoza

Whether or not you will enjoy this destination depends on how ardently you love tea and how much effort you’re prepared to do in order to obtain it. The hike up to the teahouse on top of Huashan in Shaanxi province. The teahouse is located in one of the many Taoist temples on the mountains, and as it is at an altitude of over 7000 feet (on the South Peak), this might very well be the ‘highest’ tea you have ever drunk.

Tianshan Tea Market, Shanghai

The dream of any tea lover is to be surrounded by tons and tons of their favorite beverage in its purest form – and this dream is attainable at the Tianshan Tea Market in Shanghai. The market consists of countless small shops selling every imaginable variety of Chinese tea. It’s next to impossible to buy all the tea that you’d love to, but many shops hand out free sample or have tea service, so you can taste a cup before moving on to the next shop.

Mount Wuyi

photo by Nikchick

Wuyi Mountain is not only a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its natural beauty, but also because it produces some of the most precious kinds of tea in China. Lapsang Souchong, the famous smoked black tea, is not too expensive to be available to regular tea lovers, but  the Da Hong Pao tea is one of the most expensive teas in the world, costing up to millions of dollars per kilogram.

 

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