Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Harvesting tea leaves, China. Source:  Anatta_Tan / Adobe Stock.

Searching for China’s Ancient Tea Leaves (Video)

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In the remote Tea Mountains of Southwest China lies the secret to experiencing the oldest way of enjoying tea. With dedication and passion, Shunan Tang, owner of Tea Drunk in New York City, embarks on a remarkable journey to preserve the art of historic Chinese tea. Handpicking leaves and buds from centuries-old tea trees is no easy task, but the authenticity and taste of these teas make it all worthwhile. The journey to find these ancient tea trees is arduous, navigating steep slopes and remote locations with the help of local farmers. These trees bud for only 15 days each year, adding to the rarity of the tea.

Once the leaves are harvested, a meticulous process ensues. From spreading the tea out to wok frying, rolling, sun drying, and carefully sorting each leaf, it takes months before the tea is ready to be enjoyed. For Shunan, the extreme nuances in taste these teas offer bring unparalleled joy. It is her mission to preserve this exquisite art and elevate it to new heights. The journey to obtain authentic Chinese tea from the ancient trees is a labor of love and dedication, resulting in a masterpiece of flavor that stands apart from mass-produced alternatives.

Top image: Harvesting tea leaves, China. Source:  Anatta_Tan / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

Next article