The Past and Future of the First European Tea Plantation – São Miguel

Wenzhuo Liu

As a decorative plant, tea was introduced to São Miguel island by Jacinto Leite, a native of the Azores in Portugal in 1820. It is the administrative capital of the Azores in the central part of the North Atlantic. Among the tea tree varieties brought to the island, only small leaf tea trees are well adapted to the climate and soil of the island. With the decline of the important pillar orange orchard agricultural industry on the island caused by diseases and insect pests from 1840 to 1875, tobacco, sugar beet, pineapple and tea were included in the experiment as alternative economic industries. In 1878 and 1891, two groups of Chinese tea industry experts were invited to the island to guide tea planting and tea processing, and the tea industry was successfully developed. At the beginning of the 20th century, the island had nearly 50 tea gardens and 10 independent factories exporting tea, which played an important role in the island’s economy. An important part of the island’s economy has been established around the planting, processing and export of tea. At that time, São Miguel island also became the only tea producing area in Europe. However, since the 1960s, the impact of the development of the international tea industry chain on the local tea industry, the shortage of local agricultural labor force, and the local policies to increase milk production have accelerated the decline of the whole tea industry on the island. At present, only two tea gardens with a total area of 25 hectares are still in operation, each with tea factories, mainly producing green tea and black tea. Where will the tea industry of São Miguel Island, which has developed for almost three centuries, and the tea culture derived from it go in the future?

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Online Tea Class – UK Tea Academy

Wenzhuo Liu

Jane Pettigrew, who has 39 years of experience in tea industry, tea practitioners who are familiar with her and the British tea associations organizations, gradually realised the importance of professional tea training in the food and beverage (service) industry. In 2015, Jane launched her influence in the tea circle for many years to form a team, established the UK Tea Academy (UKTA) with investor funding, and successfully operated in the UK. Since 2017 UKTA has had licenced tutors teaching the UKTA courses in Italy, Spain, South Korea, France and Germany. Soon after the start of COVID-19 in 2020, UKTA adapted its work to online classes, and now teaches students from all over the world.

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Tea Hiker on the Ancient Tea Horse Road

Wenzhuo Liu

Jeff Fuchs, who has lived in Shangri La, Yunnan for ten years, has 17 years of experience in recording and exploring trade routes in the Himalayas and visiting trade participants. He always takes tea and teapots when traveling. His photographic documentary book <Ancient Tea Horse Road> has recorded that he and his team walked along the ancient tea horse road on the Yunnan Tibet line. Based on his book, the documentary of the same name made by Canadian director Andrew Gregg won the documentary award. Jeff has organized and participated in more than 30 Himalayan expeditions, and he has won many Explorer awards such as recently as one of the “100 greatest explorers in Canada” by the Royal Geographical Society of Canada.

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Tea Podcast – Tea, Mud and Hope

Wenzhuo Liu

As the owner of Windy Hollow tea farm in Scotland, Monica Griesbaum explored and learned how to grow and make tea on 24 acres of broad-leaved forest land in Perthshire, in order to further understand tea planting, production and processing, new tea planting methods facing climate change, organic ecological tea industry and biodiversity of tea industry. Monica started the podcast “Tea, Mud and Hope” in 2019, hoping to inspire and encourage more people to pay attention to relevant topics through her podcast.

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Tea History Podcast – Teacup Media

Wenzhuo Liu

Modern people read less and listen more. Podcasts in the form of audio on demand may be the future development direction of we media. The podcast has low production cost and simple operation, as long as the audience has an Internet connection, it can be shared with anyone anywhere in the world. Laszlo Montgomery, who lived in Los Angeles after retirement, started to build China’s history podcast Teacup Media in 2010 out of his personal interest in Chinese history. Laszlo had many contacts with Wang Xufeng, a tea novel writer who won the Mao Dun Literature Award and a columnist of China national tea journal <Tea Times>…, and was invited to give a speech at Zhejiang agriculture and Forestry University where she taught. Inspired by this, Laszlo added the tea history series to the podcast in 2014. The celadon teacup given by Mr. Wang at that time has been used so far.

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Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Tea

Chinese Taoist tea and Chinese Buddhist tea are known as China’s two famous religious tea. Buddhist tea has Zen and Taoist tea has tea theory. Chinese tea culture has a profound religious and cultural foundation. It can be said that without this foundation, tea can not form culture. How did Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism act on tea culture and make Chinese tea culture form a grand atmosphere.

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What did ancient Chinese people drink tea with?

After the Han Dynasty, until the Tang Dynasty, there was no strict boundary between tableware and drinking utensils. In most cases, they were shared. However, as a ceramic tea set, after the development of the Western Jin Dynasty and the southern and Northern Dynasties, to the Tang Dynasty, Lu Yu’s <tea classic 茶经> contains 20 kinds of tea sets, which shows that the Tang Dynasty tea set has complete shape, complete supporting facilities, and special tea sets have been established. Book Workshops
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Spring Water for Tea – Hui Mountain Spring

Huishan- Hui Mountian Spring 惠山泉, was tasted by Lu Yu, the “tea sage” of Tang Dynasty, according to legend, therefore, Huishan spring was named Lu Zi spring, honored as “the second spring in the world” by Qing Emperor Qianlong. The spring is now located in Xihui park at the foot of Hui mountain in the western suburb of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Because Huishan spring water is famously good, so many ancient tea experts came to taste and discuss. Li Shen, a poet in the middle Tang Dynasty, “茶得此水,皆尽芳味也 once tea has this spring water, it will give off all its fragrance of this tea”. Zhao Mengfu, the great calligrapher of the Yuan Dynasty, wrote “the second spring in the world 天下第二泉” for Huishan spring, which is still well preserved on the back wall of the spring Pavilion. In Song Dynasty, the famous poet, Su Shi was well versed in his poem, he brought the best tea cake to try the second spring in the world. After drinking, he repeatedly praised the wonderful.

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What Tea did the Ancients drink?

Based on historical data, there are 67 tea producing areas in Tang Dynasty, 8 tea producing areas mentioned in Lu Yu’s <Tea Classic 茶经>, 43 states (counties), which are equivalent to 13 provinces today. In Tang Dynasty, there were more than 50 kinds of famous tea, most of which were steamed green cake tea, and a small amount of loose tea, including green tea and yellow tea. At that time, Guzhu Purple Bamboo Shoot tea from Wuyue (Jiangsu and Zhejiang) and Mengshan Purple Bamboo Shoot tea from Xishu (Sichuan) were the most popular products of the Tang emperor. Tang tribute tea producing house is located in Hutou Cliff on the side of Guzhu mountain, Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, which was founded in 770. It is the place to supervise the production of tribute tea Guzhu tea in Tang Dynasty, it is also the first tea processing factory in Chinese history. Read More

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When German Bakery meets Chinese Tea – Mrs. T

Article Wenzhuo Liu, Photos Maren Thobaben

Good news for Chinese readers: related article has been published in the April 2021 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, “中国茶与德国烘培的偶遇” page 40-45.

In China, in fact, there are many kinds of tea food, and because of the types of tea, personal preferences and differences, it is a general principle to match sweet tea food with green tea, sour and sweet tea food with black tea, and salty and alkaline tea food with oolong tea, the so-called “sweet with green, sour with red, melon seeds with oolong 甜配绿,酸配红,瓜子配乌龙“. When it comes to tea food, in fact, it’s easy to think of Engliand afternoon tea food and Japanese tea food, the beautiful tea snack is not too greasy and crooked only when it is paired with tea. In Germany and Europe, there are only a few tea food that use tea as ingredients, Earl Grey tea shortcake and tea nougat, which are very common in Europe. These improved tea versions of European cuisines from Maren Thobaben, French tea macarons and Italian tea pasta, seem to open up a new European tea food world. Read More

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