Love tea enough to plant tea?! -Part III European Tea Growers (Italy and Switzerland)

Wenzhuo Liu

Good news for Chinese readers: this article has been published in the December 2020 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, “嗜茶到种茶 欧洲出现种茶热?”. Read More

The highest level of tea drinking is to drink the tea you grow. I wonder if tea drinking people nowadays have one Mu (=0.0667 hectares) or one piece of tea garden belonging to you and drinking your own grown tea. At present, various tea producing areas in China are carrying out “ordering tea garden” and “private tea garden” and other tea projects. Bai Juyi of Tang Dynasty and Su Shi of Song Dynasty have also set an example for us in this respect. They have their own tea gardens, and they have grown tea by themselves without asking the tea growers to help them. Read More

Compagnia del Lago

Lu Tong, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, once lamented the hardships of tea farmers in his poem <Seven Bowls of Tea>, “the immortals on the Penglai Mountain are in charge of the things on the land, they stand tall, stand apart from other living beings and stand away from wind and rain. Do they know that hundreds of millions of tea farmers work hard on cliffs every day, and who knows the tea farmers’ sufferings from offering tea? The author advises Meng Jianyi on behalf of these tea farmers in the Penglai paradise: when is the end of such suffering days? When can these tea farmers rest at all?”. Read More As a modern tea man, who doesn’t want to own his own tea garden, however, there are several people who can endure the hardships and cultivate by themselves. In contrast, indoor ornamental flower potted tea decoration is also a more practical choice.

Compagnia del Lago

There are such a group of people growing tea from scratch in Europe, in 2016, the European tea planting Association (EuT) was established. Its members spread over more than 10 European countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal… The team is growing year by year, as if it will set off a trend of tea planting in Europe. Tea garden owners have their own specialties and skills, the fresh leaves collected are processed into various types of tea, including Chinese, Russian, British, Japanese and Korean teas, also all kinds of tea ceremony with national characteristics.

Compagnia del Lago

Compagnia del Lago

The author started to open her own tea garden in Germany in 2017, focusing on Chinese tea. She was also lucky to join the association in 2019, and visited the tea plantations of three Association members in Switzerland and northern Italy. The tea nursery and tea plantation  compagnia del lago of Paolo Zacchera in Vogonia, Italy, started relatively late, but already has a large-scale planting mode. The climate in the south of the Alps is mild and humid, which is very suitable for the growth of most tea varieties. Moreover, the Vogonia mountain area has unique granite resources and high soil mineral content, which is particularly conducive to the cultivation of tea with unique rock charm. The Paolo’s family and its employees have run the farm for generations in the local area. After 4-5 years of care and careful care of the Italian farm model, tea trees have begun to be picked, and tea gardens and nurseries are also expanding. As a raw material for tea drinks, it has attracted purchase orders from European beverage companies such as Germany. The author has the honor to taste handmade white tea and green tea from their tea gardens. It has a special mountain fragrance, and the charm of white tea is comparable to that of some Chinese white tea.

Casa del te

Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland, there is a famous tea garden in Europe. Tea guests from all over the world can stroll along the tea garden path, meditate in the Zen garden, and enjoy the scenery in the tea pavilion. While enjoying the nearby Japanese garden, they can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lago Maggiore lake, a tourist resort. Japanese tea houses can not only taste the Japanese green tea picked and processed in the tea garden, but also taste all kinds of delicacies, such as local handmade Matcha chocolate, etc. Tobias Denzler introduced Casa del tè tea garden and teahouse to us, which was built by Peter Oppliger and his team in 2005. The tea house here not only receives tea guests every day, but also holds various tea activities regularly, including Japanese tea ceremony and annual spring tea harvest Festival.

Casa del te

At the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, the plant hunter James Cunningham went to work in China and collected more than 600 kinds of plants in Xiamen and Zhoushan and sent them back to England. James Petifer of the Royal Society published the first printed illustration of Camellia based on this collection in 1702. The upsurge of Camellia planting in Europe is gradually emerging. The romantic English Camellia garden of Villa Anelli on the Bank of Lake Lago Maggiore in Italy, accompanied by the upsurge, was transformed by Carlo Berzio was founded in 1872. Today, you can still enjoy the beautiful flowers of camellia trees planted in the 19th century every year. Walking in the sea of camellia flowers all over the mountains and enjoying the romantic British Garden and Lago Maggiore lake is a unique style.

La Camellia D’Oro

In 2010, camellia garden was rated as Outstanding Camellia Garden by the world Camellia Association. Andrea Corneo of La Camellia D’Oro, who was born and grew up in the camellia garden, is now a horticultural engineer and inherits the camellia garden. He gave us a detailed introduction to the Camellia living museum, daily care and new projects. More than 400 kinds of Camellia and their hybrids are closely planted on the steep hillside of the lake. Beside the winding zig zag path, people can see the Camellia from China, Japan, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and other countries. Besides, you can definitely experience the strong black tea prepared by the Russian tea cooking tea method. The camellia garden also provides homestay, which is definitely the ideal of tea and Camellia lovers A place to stop.

La Camellia D’Oro]

Good news for Chinese readers: this article has been published in the December 2020 <Tea Times 茶博览> in Chinese, “嗜茶到种茶 欧洲出现种茶热?”. Read More

This tea magazine has a history of 27 years, since its predecessor <The House of Tea People 茶人之家> was founded. It is the most influential and professional tea culture journal in China and abroad. As a monthly magazine, published on the 20th of every month, Tea Times is under the charge of China International Tea Culture Research Association, sponsored by China International Tea Culture Research Association, Zhejiang International Tea People House Foundation, co-organized by China Tea Museum and approved by the State Press and Publication Administration. The press review and reading group of Zhejiang Press and Publication Bureau once summarized the characteristics of Tea Times with the words “elegant, broad, deep and beautiful”.

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