Part of a series on How To Expand Your Tea Education.
Sometimes a class or a book just will not provide a sufficient substitute to the depth or richness of experience of being at origin.
Going to the places where tea is grown and processed can offer several advantages. You will be able to interact with the people who create tea. You can get a better sense of differences in tea quality and grades of tea. If the experience is participatory, you may even gain some new skills. Tea tourism can give you greater understanding and appreciation of tea.
Some of the strongest tea tourism or tea tours programs include:
World Tea Tours. Dan Robertson and his team have been organizing tours since 1997. Tours are divided by growing regions, and can include Fujian Province, Yunnan Province, green tea areas of China, Ceylon, India (Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Assam) Japan,
Seven Cups Tours. Seven Cups describes their tours as “backcountry.” These types of tours journey into the smaller villages and rural areas of China. Not all of these locations offer 5-star accommodations, so some tourists may feel like they are roughing it. Between their Origins and Tribute tea tours, every major category of Chinese tea is covered.
Taiwan Tea Tour. Thomas Shu of ABC Tea has been leading groups to Taiwan since at least 2008. This tour is a hands-on learning experience. Members of the group participate throughout the tea processing experience.
Or you could create your own tour. There are several tea farms in Hawaii that allow tours and open farm days. Big Island tea farms with tastings and/or tours include Mauna Kea Tea, Onomea Tea, and Tea Hawaii. Cloudwater Tea on Kaua’i also lets you try your hand at harvesting and processing tea.