Since ancient times, Huangshan has had the reputation of the mountain that offers the best landscape that tops all other mountains in China.
As a typical representative of China’s landscape, Huangshan City is the first scenic resort in the world that incorporates UNESCO Cultural and Natural Heritages, World Geopark and UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Its air quality rate remains 95% clear throughout the year, making it the optimal natural oxygen bar. It is also the origin of Huangshan Maofeng Green Tea, Taiping Monkey-pick Green Tea and Qimen Black Tea among the top ten famous teas in China and a symbol of China’s most excellent tourism destinations.
Free, like the surroundings of great mountains and waters, the people in Huangshan have their own understanding of the Zen Art of the Tea.
China has a vast territory and abundant resources, and its tea culture and art, spreads all over the country.
Why is Huangshan’s Tea Art so special? From my experience of more than 20 years, the Zen Art of Tea of Huangshan is the spiritual combination of mountain scenery, tea, the local Hui culture and the people of these lands.
The beautiful scenery of Huangshan provides the perfect environment, the extraordinary quality of the tea, and the local Hui culture is the soul of the experience. These three ingredients offer the best quality tea in China, and the world.
Finally, all of the rites and traditions centered around this art of tea, are focused on the people who are experiencing it all. All these indispensable elements complement each other.
This may sound abstract, but in other words, a tasting is a real “immersive experience”. Here’s an example.
In May, 2020, we received some guests in the Yupinglou spot, which is a platform on the picturesque Yuping peak that is found halfway down the cloud sea of Huangshan Mountain. It’s a perfect dream like balcony for an elegant tea gathering.
My colleagues and I served the products we are most proud, the Taiping Monkey-pick green tea, in a very tall glass.
Taiping Monkey-pick, is a kind of rare green tea with very long and dark-green leaves and with an astonishing aroma. It usually grows on high mountain tops where legend has it, only monkeys can go and pick its leaves.
But as the guests had just walked around for quite a while and sweated a little. At this moment, a fresh, sweet and aromatic green tea drink is just what they need. At the same time, my colleague performed the Tea Ceremony with some relaxing music.
This tea ceremony is an integrated performance of the tea-making, traditional Chinese classical music and dancing, specially created by the tea industry leader, Mr. Qiao Musen, for brewing Taiping Monkey -pick. He has performed the tea ceremony in many countries.
This was a very special moment to remember for me because as the tea ceremony was performed, the mountain became shrouded with clouds. Clouds that brought rain, later on.
Under the pine trees, the peaks look like jade washed in cold water, everything was quiet as if they were listening to a silent story told by nature. I think here is where you can experience the spiritual unity of the mountain, tea, culture.
With rich cultural heritage and numerous scenic spots, Huangshan has always attracted guests and tourists from China and abroad. In 2019, there were 2,869,400 foreign tourists that visited Huangshan city. Many foreign tourists also came to our Studying House to experience the culture, which I think is a very good way of communicating and making connections.
At the end of 2019, I was invited to a concert held in Huangshan by musicians from the City of Perugia, Italy, a city with a history of 1,000 years.
The classical music of Italy is passionate and unrestrained, while the classical music commonly used in our tea ceremonies is quiet and graceful, both give people an elegant artistic enjoyment.
Due to the impact of the epidemic, many tea art or cultural activities we held this year were not attended by any of our foreign friends. I really hope that more Italian friends and guests from all over the word can come to Huangshan, taste the good tea and experience our culture.