Tea Horse Chronicles - The Fry
Dakpa and I had been rolling around tea forests, tea houses, and tea characters for months at this point along portions and strands of the Tea Horse Road. Though there were many ‘moments of the leaf’ upon our journey, this one summed up so much, so simply. A young family embedded in tea harvesting, production, and selling in an epicentre of tea for centuries, Yiwu, was buzzing around their little home. Yiwu was one of the main tea origin points in the history of the Tea Horse Road and Dakpa and I had arrived exhausted and with a thirst. We installed ourselves in this tea frying sanctuary out back of this little home and silently watched successive waves of leaves get pan-fried and churned. We were exhausted, damp wrecks and we simply sat sipping tea, taking in wafts of baking leaves that hit the nasal cavity like the rich, sweet tang of a bakery in full cry. Tea’s vital stage laid bare. We left with some tea in hand, happily wired and entranced with a sense of how utterly simple tea could be. It is a moment embedded still in all of the senses.