The Origins Of Tea (16 days)

Tea plays a huge part in Chinese culture and represents one of the country’s earliest links with Britain, dating from when the East India Company established the tea trade from Shanghai. This tour takes you down the East Coast of China to search for the origins of the great British "cuppa", stopping off at some of the country’s key tea producing regions along the way. Learn about many different kinds of tea, and the production methods behind them, as well as meeting some of the local tea farmers. First you will travel from the fertile lands around Shanghai and Hangzhou, home to the famous West Lake and celebrated for the quality of its green tea, to the mysterious Yellow Mountain, where you will find several of China’s most famous and sought after teas. From here journey south to Wuyishan, a lesser visited part of the country, but the origin of Da Hong Pao, the most expensive tea in the world. Venture further south again to the prosperous coastal province of Guangdong, stopping in Chaozhou where you can explore ancient villages and sample the oolong tea this area is celebrated for. Finally, finish your journey as the tea merchants of old would have done, in the Cantonese city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta, once the departure point for the famous tea clippers en route back to the West laden with treasures. Get to grips with the urban tea culture here, and reflect on the wonders you have seen over the past two weeks.

Tour Highlights

  • Stay overnight on the Yellow Mountain
  • Visit the home of Oolong Tea at Wuyi Mountain Reserve
  • Meet tea farmers in Chaozhou

Suitable For

  • Return visitors
  • Tea lovers
  • Culture seekers
  • Departures: March to November

Guide Price

From £3,495 per person based on a shared room for departures in April.

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