In CR, we enthusiastically enjoy cups of tea, looking for great leaves, new flavours, … but we never see who’s behind it all. Who actually grows, collects, transports and processes the tea.
And the journey certainly doesn’t end there, because out of the bambillions of tons, qualities and teas, only a handful that have already passed the quality filter make it to the Czech Republic.
We’ve picked tea before (Phoenixes at Mr. Dad’s), but yesterday we had the opportunity to help pick rock Wuiy teas, which are only picked from the bushes once a year.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to even get up the rocks, to walk between the gullies and scramble up the several dozen high slopes where there are narrow rows of trees. But to spend a whole day under the scorching sun, monotonously picking leaves… which the porters then carry down and then pick up and fill the baskets again… and again… It’s hard work, and unexpectedly, as a blue-collar occupation, not the most profitable.
They have my respect and admiration
Appreciate every leaf we enjoy in a cup of tea in peaceful Bohemia. Behind every ticket is a single destiny, a lot of work, pathetically speaking (although we have experienced this to be a reality ourselves) blood and sweat and a lot of energy…
We tried our hand at picking the teas, attempting (sometimes successfully) to lift the 100 kilogram tea loads that must be carried on our shoulders by small yet tenacious porters, dumping the bags into the factory, stacking, processing, … I don’t envy the work – it’s hard work…