Food and drink holidays
8th November 2021
Tea is such a common, everyday drink in the UK that we seldom pay any attention to its provenance. Nor, arguably, do we approach it as being a particularly sophisticated drink with a wide variety of taste profiles and quality, as we do with wine, coffee and craft beer. A visit to one of the world's tea growing areas may change your mind. Here we present some of our favourite tea plantation areas where you can learn to truly appreciate tea in all its glories.
Famous for Dragon Well tea, Hangzhou is around an hour by bullet train from Shanghai, so can be visited as a day trip. If you have the time though, it's worth spending a couple of nights here to explore - as well as tea plantations, there's also China's National Tea Museum
Perhaps no-where conjures up images of tea quite like India's Darjeeling. With a backdrop of jagged white Himalayan Peaks, pretty colonial era buildings as well as the tea plantations, this is a great place to learn more about tea and develop a taste for the subtle delights of Darjeeling.
Located in the south of China's Yunnan province, Xishuangbanna and the surrounding region has been China's leading exporter of Pu'er tea for centuries. Tea travelled from here on the backs of horses along the 'Tea Horse' road, destined for Tibet, Beijing and beyond. These days, newly wealthy Chinese businessmen pay thousands of dollars for aged Pu'er tea, said to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Originally covered in coffee plantations, Sri Lanka's plantation owners switched to tea when their coffee was decimated by disease in the 19th century. Now Sri Lanka is one of the world's leading exporters of the drink, famous for its high quality Ceylon tea. Visiting the country's verdant 'Hill Country', tea plantations are everywhere and there are numerous opportunities to visit.
Make it happen
Check out our India, Sri Lanka and China pages for details of what do and see. All our trips are private and can be tailor-made to your requirements and dates. To talk to someone in the TravelLocal office, call 0117 342 7898.