We spent a relaxing day exploring the terraced English gardens, birdwatching, walking and eating. The food was amazing!
Everywhere you looked were tea groves, most with a scattering of tall trees to provide some shade.There is actually only one kid of tea plant - worldwide. The taste, grade, tannins, quality, price, etc. is all a function of elevation (higher is better), oxidation speed, sorting, and hand vs. machine harvested. Once every four years, they radically prune back the bushes to leave only one main trunk. Some of the plants can be many decades old, and in China they can be 1000's of years old.
Tientsin is part of a collection of four properties which are using tourism to help support the tea work and the broader community. (Homes, electricity, schools, health care, etc.) They produce some tea considered "Fair Trade" (workers earn 50 cents a day more) but there is not much demand for it...consumers would rather pay less.
|Main living room|
|Grand hallway...I could get used to this!|
|Our sitting area|
|Interesting pond plants|
|100 year old arbor over the stairway|
|This garden was pie shaped to create an interesting depth of field|
|Precious cherub sundial|
|Fascinating vine, glorious superba, that climbed with curled leaves. Endemic to Sri Lanka.|