The Great Tea Train

The Great Tea Train

Tea tourists may soon have another amazing excursion to quell their wanderlust.

Through a new agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping and President of Mongloia Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorzh, the “Great Tea Train” should be ready to operate by next year.

©Frankljunior

©Frankljunior

The train will travel 3,000 kilometers through portions of what was historically a critical tea trade route, the Great Tea Road. The Eurasian Star train will set off from Beijing and travel across Mongolia into Siberia, ending in Irkutsk. There will be multiple stops at cities along the route for sightseeing including Chita, Ulan and Ude.

Some who have interest in this historical area have opted to ride on the Trans-Siberian train which runs from Beijing through Mongolia all the way to St. Petersburg, a journey of 8,000 miles. The Eurasian Star, however, will have a particular focus, however, on sites important to the tea trade.

The deal was announced at the most recent BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, a gathering of representatives from Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa. The leaders of Russia, China and Mongolia have spent the past year discussing ways that their countries can more closely cooperate in politics, the economy, science and cross-border initiatives.

Source: Siberian Times and BRICS report

Pimp My Tea

China’s CNTV assigned a reporter to visit Los Angeles last week to describe the tea industry in America.

The serious video report, hilariously but aptly titled Pimp My Tea, includes an interview with International Tea Importer (ITI, Inc.) and Chado Tea Room Founder Devan Shah, a visit to the American Tea Room in Beverly Hills and conversations with tea drinkers.

In America “the tea is infused with all sorts of interesting flavors” explains the reporter as the camera pans pouches labeled Macaroon (cacao bits, rooibos, coconut, licorice) and Toasted Fig (pu-erh, figs, dandelion roots, coconut flakes and fennel) or Brioche, advertised as “aromatic as a French patisserie” with almonds, cinnamon and safflower blossoms.

To a purist, concoctions like Chamomile Lemon and Dry Desert lime seem quite ordinary beside Carrot Curry and Beef Cabbage, Spinach Chive and Broccoli Cilantro “tea.” The blends described above no doubt appear to the Chinese exactly like the garish, gaudy and extravagant embellishments gangbangers use to transform 1970s caddies, a vintage Ford Fairlane or Lincoln Continental into pimpmobiles.

The Chinese treasure several blends such as Jasmine green tea but for the most part consumers there seem content with tea processed much as it was a 1000 years ago. In America the blends featured in most shops were developed within a few months of launch. They appear and disappear with the season.

Source: CNTV Culture Express