NEW: from July 31st, 2023

Extensive Tea Tour

Beijing - Yixing - Wuyishan - Fuzhou - Southwest Yunnan

We selected the places, the people and the leaves we love the most, for an unforgettable experience immersed in your passion.

We start from a Beijing temple and we sip our way tea after tea through Chinese tea culture until our origins in Yunnan.

In this travel you will find everything that makes up Eastern Leaves: our Yunnan, an in-depth of Chinese culture, the peak of Wuyishan, our favorite artists of Yixing and Dai minorities, and all the people that makes our tea-journey meaningful.

Two tours, on July 31st and August 23rd.

Scroll below to read about the itinerary and join our Live presentation on Saturday May 20th, or write us for further info.

Live presentation

Join a live presentation of our tour on Saturday, May 20th at 2:30 pm CEST / 8:30am EDT
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Itinerary

Day #1: the ancient capital city

Beijing

We welcome you to Beijing from your own country of departure: we meet in the heart of the city, a XV century ancient temple hidden in the old center to share our first tea of this journey.
We then have a dinner in the ancient Hutong lanes, making ourselves closer and closer to the Chinese culture that we will discover along our travel.

Day #2: vestiges of the Empire

Beijing

In the morning we follow an in-depth, guided visit of the Forbidden city, that includes Tiananmen Square and its surrounding. We explore the history and architecture, between the very ancient dynasty and the current one.
After lunch we visit the surrounding area of the XIII century lakes and pagodas, and finally the southern part of Qianmen.
During the day we will savour the tea as Beijingers do, tasting very diverse meals.

Day #3: the Great Wall and the boundary lands

We head towards the northern outskirts of the Capital to visit the majestic Great Wall of China: we climb a stretch, from tower to tower, admiring the breathtaking landscape of the ancient border of the Chinese Empire.
We will immerse ourself in nature and history; we will savour a tea in the hills, and will great the capital with a dinner worthy of our most intense memories.

Day #4: the pottery capital

Yixing

In the morning we leave the capital and take a train south to Yixing and its precious clays. In the afternoon we have initial contact with the local studios whose pieces are already owned by many of you, meeting the artists. In Yixing, everything breathes around the ancient ceramic production districts: artists, students, craftsmen and museums, with one of the liveliest food cultures on the east coast.

Day #5: collections, rarities, and kilns

Yixing

In the morning we visit the Yixing museum, that tells the story of the district through the centuries, with priceless pieces and the origin of clay trough the Chinese dynasties. We continue our day visiting different kilns, including an active dragon kiln, observing all the phases of the production process.

Day #6: the rhythm of the mountain

Wuyishan

In the morning we leave Yixing and take a train to northern Fujian, towards the long-awaited mountain region of Wuyishan. In the late afternoon we will have a first broad taste of the surrounding landscape which frames our sunset, in an initial roundup of flavours, cultivars and colours.

Day #7: the core and the original trees

Wuyishan

In the morning we enter the Wuyishan Zhengyan area, inside the internal park, together with a farmer who owns some of these precious trees. We will appreciate the microenvironments and study the different Wuyi cultivars. In the afternoon we continue our tea tasting, visiting a workshop for roasting these fragrant leaves.

Day #8: fujian antiques and red hues

Wuyishan

We visit the town filling ourself with the fragrance of baking, and wander the alleys in search of old Fujian antiques, including tea sets and furniture. In the afternoon we taste some specialties of the area, in the form of red teas: Zhengxiang Xiaozhong and Jinjunmei.

Day #9: flowery teas on the river delta

Fuzhou

In the morning we drive to Fuzhou on the Minjiang River Delta, where we visit the most important district for the production of flower tea: we see how the loose teas are repeatedly scented with fresh flowers, in a mesmerizing atmosphere.

Day #10: taste of the old Dai kingdom

Xishuangbanna

We head south to the southwestern edge of China: the ancient Dai kingdom of Xishuangbanna, where most of the premium pu'er tea is produced and enjoyed. We have been based here since 2014 and will be honored to host you in the land we love so much.

Day #11: the enchanted mountain

Nannuo forest

We wake up surrounded by the pu’er tea mountains, and we begin our itinerary by heading towards Mount Nannuo: we pay homage to the oldest 800 years old tree, and immerse ourselves in the forest of Eastern Leaves. If the weather is favorable we attend the Shaqing and observe different stages of production.

Day #12: Dai pottery and Pasha ancient trees

Xishuangbanna and Pasha mtn.

We start our day on the outskirts of the city north of the Mekong River to visit Mrs. Zhang Laoshi's traditional Dai pottery workshop, which represents her ethnic tradition of pottery working with three different kilns: gas, wood and dragon.
Next we head to Mt. Pasha, one of the famous old six, to stroll among its ancient trees, learning about its cultivar, and of course, to savor its fragrances and aromas.

Day #13: the heart of tea trade and production

Menghai

Menghai is the center of the most renowned - and busiest - area for the production of pu'er tea: it is surrounded by the Bulang area with Laobanzhang and Laoman'e, Pasha, Nannuo, Naka and many others, and brings together all the best professionals and factories. We visit a pu'er tea refining plant and explore the local economy by dedicating our day to the best tasting of different teas: shupu with a master of his craft and rare shengpu from selected areas.

Day #14: The gentle forest

Jingmai mountain

We wake up in Menghai and head to Jingmai Mountain, which belongs to Simao County. Its forested slopes make for a breathtaking landscape, and the restored village makes it a perfect postcard of Yunnan. Jingmai teas are famous for being delicate even when young: we taste several samples of this mountain personality, to preserve the memory of his terroir.

Day #15 - Jingmai mountain

Xishuangbanna

We hike around the main village, we taste the work of different farmers - and seasons - and we start to descend the mountain until Menghai, and then toward our base in the middle of Xishuangbanna valley.

Day #16 - The modern era of pu'er tea

Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna is the historic capital of the Dai kingdom, surrounded by the tea mountains and favored by the Mekong River: the headquarters and showrooms of the most important pu'er tea brands in China are located in the city, offering a valuable insight into the industry both historically and in terms of future evolution. We immerse ourselves in tasting and evaluating, exploring different aspects of the leaves we all love.

Day #17: the king of the pu'er mountains

Laobanzhang mtn.

In the morning we head to Mengkun, to visit the mountain retreat of a local artist who is the living representative of his ethnic minority, the Hani-Akha: his name is Shuosan, and he has built a very personal museum in his native village, with ancient fabrics and cultural relics.
After lunch we climb the most famous mountain in the area, a symbol of the skyrocketing prices of pu'er tea: Loabanzhang, with its historic trees, evidence of ancient domestication, and the maximum security village that protects its treasure. We have a direct connection to three different families and will test the 2023 production.

Day #18 - the pottery courtyard, and spices and fragrances

Xishuangbanna

The Banna area is home to over 17.000 flora species, and there are more than 800 edible mushroom species in Yunnan. It is one of the three most diverse areas in the world, and we will explore it by wandering around the local markets and cooking our own local lunch, trying to learn something from cooking. In the afternoon we visit a lush tropical garden surrounded by forest, which houses the ceramic workshop of an innovative master we love: Qiu Laoshi and his creations.

Our travel is designed by us, and it is independent by any travel agency: we bring you with us on Eastern Leaves routes, guided by a farmer and tea scholar, through places, tastes and people that are most menaningful for us.

In Summer 2023 we have two departure dates:
- July 31st: 18 days
- August 23rd: 18 days

Our travel package includes accommodation in selected, cosy hotels, all the internal transportation, and meals. It doesn't include the A/R flight fromt/to your country of origin, visas (but we support your application), and insurance.

We apply special rates for our Eastern Academy alumni: contact us to choose a date and customise together your travel at the origin of tea!

Contact us

Further travel options

Our plantations and Yunnan trips

We are available all year long for extensive, customised trips in southwest Yunnan, where we live. Our travels starts from the tea forest we own and cover all the most important tea mountains of Xishuangbanna, Simao/Pu'er and Lincang. We combine tea tasting, farming, tea market, Yunnan pottery and culture.

On site courses

We propose all the ranges of our courses on-site, both in our Xishaungbanna tea-room and workshop and in our tea-forest. 
Being physically surrounded by the small of soil and trees, being able to taste the fresh leaves, to touch them, and to live with the people involved in their production will make your study more intense and unforgettable.

Long-term stay

We welcome long-term visitors either for study, professional enhancements, or co-operations. Xishuangbanna is an ideal base to live and breath tea culture at every hour of the day; every road brings you to a tea mountain, and every conversation will leave you with new ideas and inspirations.

Find us

Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China

Directions

Tailor your trip, visit us in downtown Xishuangbanna for the time of a tea or to stay for few months: let usknow about your plan and what you like the most, we are pleased to customize your time here according to your preferences.