Picking Spring Tea Leaves In Qiannan

Tea Leaves Are Prime for Picking in China

The beauty of spring tea leaf picking.

VCG/VCG via Getty Images

All across China, the beginning of spring brings with it miles of green terraces plentiful with fresh tea leaves primed for picking. Known as the biggest global exporter of tea, China's long-standing relationship with the world's most consumed beverage is one to marvel...even at the first stage of cultivation.

Although many tea gardens sit not too far from modernized cities, many of the fields continue to be harvested the old-fashioned way -- by hand. VCG/VCG via Getty Images Although many tea gardens sit not too far from modernized cities, many of the fields continue to be harvested the old-fashioned way -- by hand. According to ancient Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nong discovered tea in 2727 B.C. when some tea leaves fell into boiling water. The drink was first used for medicinal purposes. VCG/VCG via Getty Images According to ancient Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nong discovered tea in 2727 B.C. when some tea leaves fell into boiling water. The drink was first used for medicinal purposes. A woman picks tea leaves in Guizhou province on March 17, 2018. VCG/VCG via Getty Images A woman picks tea leaves in Guizhou province on March 17, 2018. Up to the 19th century, almost all tea was grown in China.Though many other countries now play a role, China still provides nearly 29 percent of the world's supply and accounts for some of the most coveted teas out there. VCG/VCG via Getty Images Up to the 19th century, almost all tea was grown in China.Though many other countries now play a role, China still provides nearly 29 percent of the world's supply and accounts for some of the most coveted teas out there. Hangzhou, China is a major producer of Longjing tea. Characterized by its green color and mellow taste, Longjing tea, also known as West Lake Dragon Well tea, is one of the ten most famous teas in China. VCG/VCG via Getty Images Hangzhou, China is a major producer of Longjing tea. Characterized by its green color and mellow taste, Longjing tea, also known as West Lake Dragon Well tea, is one of the ten most famous teas in China. A farmer shows the newly-harvested Longjing tea leaves at a tea garden in Longjing Village in Hangzhou, China on March 21, 2018. Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images A farmer shows the newly-harvested Longjing tea leaves at a tea garden in Longjing Village in Hangzhou, China on March 21, 2018. China's Sichuan province is home to one of the world's most expensive teas. Grown in the mountains of Ya’An, farmers use the waste from local pandas to fertilize the tea bushes. The naturally grown tea can fetch up to $200 a cup. VCG/VCG via Getty Images China's Sichuan province is home to one of the world's most expensive teas. Grown in the mountains of Ya’An, farmers use the waste from local pandas to fertilize the tea bushes. The naturally grown tea can fetch up to $200 a cup. But panda fertilizer or not, one thing's for sure...China's tea production is truly a beauty to behold. China News Service/VCG via Getty Images But panda fertilizer or not, one thing's for sure...China's tea production is truly a beauty to behold.
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