The oolong tea tour is underway now despite the problems caused by the eruption of the volcano in Iceland that stranded our travelers from Denmark. They are in the air even as we speak, and will meet up with the tour in Wuyishan.
Yvonne Russell offered us some feedback and photo’s from the Green Tea Tour and gave us permission to publish it. Yvonne is a customer of the Seven Cups Tea House in Denver. Since it makes us sound good, we thought we would.
“It is hard for me to say there was any “stuff” I did not like because I am easy, experienced and know to be patient. China is changing and this tour is not be for the typical tourist. Yes, there is pollution, noise and traffic but bottled water and confident companions were plentiful and accommodations were new, clean and top rate, in fact beautiful. As “down comes the old and up goes the new”, there is currently plenty to see on this tour which moves and looks beyond the busy roads. Tagging along with Zhuping and Xiao Tang her competent driver, broadens one’s perspective with reminders of China’s long history, rich cultures and deep philosophical base. Everyday was an adventure and at the end of our travels together, Zhuping expressed that her desire had been to show and share the “high standard” of China. There are not words to express the kind heartedness of her tea friends or describe the reality of their challenges but I was impressed.
It is important to realize that this also a business trip for Seven Cups and participants should just sit back and enjoy watching Zhuping in her business relationships. The conversations were lively and full translations to English are not a realistic expectation. During our excursions to tea houses, island gardens, mountain farms, etc., I was aware that Zhuping was often drinking the tea to taste it’s quality. For me, our many experiences of drinking tea were repeatedly enriched by the quality of the people who proudly shared their tea, lots of tea……and their food, lots of food. Many interesting and varied foods were offered. I ate it all and came home healthy. The gardens were green, the trees were in bloom and art was found. This is more then a tour and I never felt like a touist. Zhuping is very responsible for her companions as she takes them to her favorite places and introduces them to her favorite tea friends. All was comfortable, well taken care of and closely looked after. I am ready to go again next year.
If I had it to do over, I might have come a day early and booked the airport Ramada for Saturday night to rest and then be confident that Zhuping and Xiao Tang would be able to call the night before and easily find me there on Sunday for the drive away from Shanghai. It is a good meeting place for someone such as myself who came not knowing where I was going to end up on arrival and it would have been a comfortable location to link up any other persons who might have been joining the tour. It was also much easier to return to the airport Ramada on Saturday at the end of the tour as a convenient place to recoop for a night night before my Sunday flight return. It has a free airport hotel shuttle service, lounge, food, etc. and is not overly expensive. ” -Yvonne Russell