Green Tea Picking and Tea Plantation in Hangzhou

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Plan your Hangzhou tour? Hangzhou is a garden city well known for its local specialities of Silk and Green Tea. Hangzhou’s green tea is sectioned into three kinds: Spring Tea, Summer Tea and Autumn Tea.

Spring tea is supposed to be the best of the three in terms of color and aroma. The green tea picked before and after the period of Tomb Sweeping Festival ( around April 05 each year ) is the champion of all green tea.

Dazhuang Village

Ayi Chen, working as a street cleaner in our community, is now on her 20-day leave to be back home in Dazhuang Village for picking tea. Her whole family is busy harvesting green tea, picking, frying and packaging.

A kind of nostalgia of my childhood experience picking green tea is returning to me. I cannot resist the temptation and rev up my black horse driving towards Ayi Chen’s home in Dazhuang Village, a tea farming village.

Every family has a three-storey building.

Back to my elementary school years, I still remember each year our school would arrange us to “learn from workers”, “learn from peasants” and “learn from soldiers”, with each for two-week time.

Every time we were engaged in one of the “three learnings”, we would be very happy simply because again we didn’t have to go to class for two weeks.

For “learning from peasants”, basically we would be assigned to work in a tea garden or plantation in a village in the outskirts of Hangzhou. Picking tea, we would stand for a whole day, thirsty and backache.

We all deeply felt that it was really not easy to be a tea farmer. 50 years have passed since then, but I still keep a tender emotion linking to tea picking and tea farmers.

I drive into Dazhang Village carrying my long lense camera, parking my car in the spacious yard in front of Ayi Chen’s three-floor building. The moment I get out of my car, I smell the light fragrance of fried tea.

Xiao Hu, Ayi Chen’s only son greets me and introduces me to his father who is working inside the shed on a corner of the yard. The shed is his father’s workshop, frying and packaging tea.

Beautiful TEa Plantation

Ayi Chen and her husband are both tea farmers, except his son – Xiao Hu who now works in the downtown of Fuyang District in Hangzhou. But each year, Xiaohu will be on 20-day leave helping his family harvesting green tea.

Ayi Chen herself is now picking in her government allocated tea plantation on a hillside, the size of about 3000 square meters. Her mother in law – Xiaohu’s grandmother is at the kitchen starting to preparing dinner. Xiao Hu works as a salesman, responsible for selling tea online or through words of mouth. What a tea family!

Xiao Hu and I walk from his home towards the tea gardens on hill slopes. On the route, he shows me around Dazhuang Village proudly. Each village family has a three-storey building with a big yard. And the village is situated in a beautiful valley.

Looking from a  distance, the village is like a clusters of gracious villa-type single buildings. Each house emits the fragrant smell of frying green tea. Xiao Hu says most of the villagers are very rich and they keep modesty and low profile. In his saying so, a deluxe SUV porsche is passing by.

Picking Tea

Xiao Hu introduces that they usually sell tea to big wholesalers, but more and more urban residents like to come to his village and directly buy tea from tea farmers in the village.

Exiting from the village, we walk along a muddy and narrow road winding up to the hills surrounding Dazhuang Village. Viewed from a distance, the tea picking girls are like colorful stars hanging on the green oil canvas.

Standing on the hilltop of his family’s tea plantation, he says if I came here half a month earlier, I would have caught a better view of the surrounding tea plantations with peach blossoms.

Back to his family, his grandmother insists that I should stay for dinner. No, please, but I will be back to Dazhuang Village, a pearl in the paradise of Hangzhou – my hometown.

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