Tea Buffs From China And Around The World Attend Grand Opening
While it may not be widely known outside of China except among die-hard oolong tea-lovers, Anxi county — located in China’s southeastern Fujian province — takes great pride in the Tieguanyin (a.k.a. Iron Goddess, Ti Kuan Yin, 铁观音) and other varieties of oolong tea grown in the region. Although Tieguanyin oolong tea is also grown in Taiwan and, to a much smaller degree, in select regions such as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in mainland China, Anxi varieties are generally the most coveted by serious tea drinkers.
To back up its claim as the traditional home of Tieguanyin, this week, Anxi county is hosting the “Tieguanyin Tea Farm Tourism Festival.” While the name itself is a bit of a mouthful, yesterday’s grand opening attracted some pretty impressive VIPs, along with tea buffs from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Indonesia, Kenya and other tea-growing (and tea-loving) countries around the world.
From CSH (translation by Jing Daily team):
On the morning of April 27, the Anxi Tieguayin Tea Farm Tourism Festival had its grand opening at the Huaxiang tea plantation in Longjuan township, in Fujian province’s Anxi county.
Hundreds of people, including guests from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, along with international friends from Singapore, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Kenya, Madagascar and other countries joined scholars, tea merchants, tea entrepreneurs, and tea plantation representatives at the opening ceremony.
Mr. Zhang Tainian, Consul General at the French consulate in Guangzhou, and Mr. He Ruiliang, Consul General at the Philippines consulate in Xiamen, and their wives traveled to Anxi to participate in the Tieguanyin tourism festival.
Mr. Zhang remarked that China is the homeland of tea, and the history of tea cultivation and tea culture is deeply rooted in Anxi. According to Zhang, Anxi Tieguanyin holds special prestige in the international market, and drinking fine Anxi Tieguanyin is a kind of unique luxury. Zhang said he would take Anxi tea culture and Anxi Tieguanyin back with him to France, in the hopes of making more French people interested in visiting Anxi and learning more about its Tieguanyin tea.
This year’s Anxi Tieguanyin tea farm tourism festival will include a series of traditional Tieguanyin activities: demonstrations by tea artisans, competitions, performances of tea arts, tea songs, and tea dances, commemorative tea planting and so on, so that visitors can experience the fun — as well as the flavor and history — of tea and share the joy of the harvest.
The Anxi tea festival will continue through May 15, and after May 1 will add an additional “eco-experience tour,” designed to attract foreign tourists groups in Fujian province, individual tourist groups, businesspeople and so forth to visit Longjuan township and other regions to further promote Anxi’s tea culture and tea tourism.
According to the article, Anxi has — since last year — tried to employ the same model used by French vineyards to promote tourism to its tea-growing areas. Considering the popularity of wine tourism in Bordeaux — especially among Chinese tourists — this is probably a good idea, if they can make it work.