Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Searching for China’s Ancient Tea Leaves

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(upbeat music)

- [Narrator] Tea is the most popular drink in the world.

And there are countless ways we make and consume it.

But if you wanna drink tea

in the oldest way we still know of,

you'll first need to hike deep into the remote Tea Mountains

of Southwest China and handpick leaves and buds

from tea trees that are hundreds of years old.

It's a long way to go for authentic Chinese tea,

but one person is doing it.

- [Announcer] This Great Big Story was made possible by UBS

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- My name's Shunan Tang, I'm the owner of Tea Drunk,

which is a tea house in New York City.

We specialize in historic Chinese tea.

Historic tea is really representing

a pinnacle of tea culture.

And these teas are usually not mass produced.

And they're trying to be as authentic

to the tea as possible.

It's almost like a masterpiece of music played

versus a practice or a original piece of art work

versus the copies.

- [Narrator] The masterpiece tea, so to speak,

comes from ancient tea trees that grow in the wild.

They only bud for 15 days out of the year.

So Shunan must race each spring to find the trees

and harvest them in time with the help of local farmers.

- The best tea trees are always on

some the hardest to get to places

because they need to be on very steep slopes.

We usually motorcycle a little bit.

Sometimes we tread water.

Sometimes we climb.

In this region is not uncommon for tea trees to grow

for several hundred years.

These tea trees right now is at its prime.

And this is what tea is meant to taste like.

Mm, tasty.

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Once we pick the tea,

we need to spread it out in a whole area

where the water can travel out

before we can wok fry the tea.

This step is to kill the enzymes

so the tea's fermentation can be stopped.

Then we take the tea leaves out, and then we roll the tea.

Once the sun dry the tea,

you need to pick out any discoloration.

This sorting process usually takes months to finish

because we do have to do them one by one

with every single tea.

- [Narrator] Months will go by before this tea is ready

to be poured out,

but the journey is well worth it to Shannon.

- Those extreme, fine points in taste the tea offers us.

I think it provides us a level of joy

that's beyond anything else.

And my job here is to preserve this art

and hopefully even push it to a new height.

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The Description of Searching for China’s Ancient Tea Leaves