Tea with heart

Updated: 2014-02-28 08:24

By Fan Zhen (China Daily)

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Tea with heart

The tea leaves are rolled and pressed to break the cell walls and to wring out the juices inside. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Tea with heart

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They say they do not deny the benefits of mechanization of the tea industry, but they just want to preserve this craft for people still curious about the stories behind food and encourage the artisans to pass it down.

"Traditions are never abstract. They are the daily things that we've been doing for generations. Like the root of the tree of culture, if it weakens, the tree won't be healthy enough to blossom and bear fruit. It will still survive but be just as fragile as those floating duckweeds," says one of her customers, He Tingzhen, a guqin (Chinese zither) teacher.

Yu's favorite tea is from a wild tea shrub opposite a waterfall more than 1,000 meters above sea level on the mountain.

Every time she brews it, she recalls the eye-catching clear stream, the breeze in early spring that stirred the green tea buds and brought along the fragrance of the neighboring flowers-and how later uncle Ma happily talked about their new house while rolling the leaves like a tai chi master.

"It's all in this one cup of tea."

For the detailed process of hand-made tea, please turn to next page.