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Micheal's Trip to China
 
We arrived to the organized chaos that is Shanghai; a huge city with a new skyscraper each week. There, in the middle of that muddle, we had tea at the Tea Garden.

The next morning we escaped to the garden city of Hangzhou. In the highlands above the city we toured the Lung Ching gardens. I gave a feeble attempt at making some of that fabulous tea. Be assured that we did not buy any of my tea.

In Hangzhou, we visited the Tea Museum. While viewing the splendid history of Chinese Tea, we were pleased and proud to see some tins of our own Queen Catherine tea. It is an honor to be the only Western tea in the Tea Museum.

Later we did a whirlwind tour of the famous Anhui province gardens. We started in the south, at the HuangShan (Yellow Mountains) which are well known teas in their own right, we drove down country lanes to Keemun. It was a restricted area (although no one knew why). There was a sign above the streets that states "Keemun is the most famous town of tea". The only city that might compete would be Darjeeling. We were amazed at the small scale of gardens and tea factories. No wonder Keemun Hao Ya A is so expensive.

After Keemun, we traversed several mountain ranges and landed at the tiny village of Red Peach. With the steep mountains and artisanal lifestyle, we felt that we had been transported to the Alps. We fell in love with the people and their organic tea, so we brought some of the tea back with us.

After that bucolic respite, it was back to the cities and the broiling heat. It was the life of a trade delegate: meetings, lunches and lots of toasts to eternal friendship. Luckily, the last day we visited the Tea Research Institute of Hunan and stumbled upon a great green tea: Ying Feng.

It was a great trip. Chinese was easy to learn, but impossible to remember. I look forward to returning to the Middle Kingdom.
 
 
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