Expats experience fine frothy art

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: September 30, 2022 L M S

The matcha tea industry has brought rapid development to a previously unknown swathe of Fusheng town in southeast Yuecheng district, Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province.

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Nine expats visit Matcha Town Living Room in Yuecheng district, Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province on Sept 29. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

Nine expats, who are living or working in China, from the United States, Poland, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Pakistan visited Matcha Town Living Room in Yuecheng district on Sept 29.

During a livestream that was conducted on Sept 29, they learned how to make matcha tea, tasted matcha-flavored sweets, and experienced dian cha in Chinese, or creating tea art in cups, which was a ritual during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that is being revived and integrated with modern lifestyles.

Lu Ying, director of the General Management Department of Shaoxing Royal Tea Village Tea Industry Co., Ltd, introduced the main steps of making dian cha, including warming the whisk and the cup, putting a certain amount of dry tea powder into a teacup for brewing, adding a small amount of water, rotating and stirring around the cup, adding water that is constantly whisked by hand, making a suitable "pigment", gently making the froth finer, as well as making artistic designs in the froth by using a teaspoon as a paintbrush.

"So coming here combines my love of travel and my love of tea. There's no better way to experience tea than coming to the origin itself, China. I've just learned that matcha is made in China. I always thought matcha was Japanese culture, but it's actually from China and it's actually from Yuecheng. It was a mind-opening experience," Douglas Christopher Dueno, a native of the United States who was one of the livestream anchors, told China Daily.

Matcha Town Living Room has a long history, growing from a Sino-Japanese joint venture in 1993 to a leading provincial-level agricultural enterprise in 2001. In recent years, the town maintains an annual sales volume of around 100 million yuan ($15 million).

Tungamirai Eric Mupona told China Daily that the entire process of dian cha was impressive and traditional, "It looks very interesting when you are adding some art to eat. I think it's scientific in a way because the tea leaves have a lot of nutrients which are good for your health," he said.

"Today what I wrote was the character 'Yue'. It means Shaoxing culture and also today we are in Yuecheng district," Mupona added, explaining why he chose to write a Yue Chinese character on the surface of the tea forth.

Fusheng town is also rich in historical relics and the expat group also visited Royal Tea Village, Qinglong Mountain Reservoir, and Six Mausoleums of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to experience the local historical culture before the livestream.

Royal Tea Village is a modern matcha manufacturer, spanning tea planting, production, processing, and marketing. As China's largest high-end matcha plantation and processing base, it boasts a total tea plantation area of 467 hectares, of which 366 hectares are dedicated to matcha, ranking first nationwide.

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Expats visit Qinglong Mountain Reservoir on Sept 29. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

As one of the 100 Most Beautiful Countryside Attractions of Zhejiang in 2018, Qinglong Mountain Reservoir is one of the 67 reservoirs in Fusheng town.

As the morning mist blurred the mountains around the reservoir, Paulina Magdalena Farkowska said, "It's really beautiful, really romantic. Honestly, I think it's really perfect for today. You can feel the past and you can feel how it was when you pick the tea and make it so delicious."

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Muhammad Umar from Pakistan draws the Chinese character "ai" or love on the tea. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

The Six Mausoleums of the Song Dynasty include the mausoleums of seven emperors and seven queens of the Northern and Southern dynasties. Since the destruction of the site in the early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the mausoleums have been severely damaged. Since 2018, the No 1 and No 2 mausoleum sites have been excavated, with many fine porcelain fragments unearthed in the ruins.

With its forest coverage rate reaching 74 percent, Fusheng is also renowned for its rural tourism. It has three national A-level scenic spots, 14 A-level scenic villages, six picking bases, two distinctive homestays, and 23 farmhouses.