A Frenchman falls in love with Wudang Tea
Fa Lizhong is already a veteran of tea
That the spring tea of Wudang Mountain begins to sprout during Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day) betokens the beginning of the busiest day of the Frenchman named Fa Lizhong.
Fa Lizhong is his Chinese name. His original name was Thomas. He is 40 years old and unmarried. In the mountain village near Purple Heaven Palace (Zixiao Palace) of Wudang Mountain, he contracted several tens of acres of tea gardens. Now it is the fifth year of his secluded life involving tea cultivation, practice and enlightenment.
He has been in contact with Chinese culture since he was a child. In 2006, he entered Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and studied traditional Chinese acupuncture, massage and other traditional therapies within five years. In 2014, he came to Wudang Mountain and fell in love with Taoist culture.
“The Taoist philosophy says that the real practice is to calm down one’s heart.” After many searches, Fa Lizhong rented a farmhouse near the Purple Heaven Palace and took over more than 10 acres of tea plantations of the villagers.
Wudang Tea was listed as a royal tribute as early as the Tang ,Song and Qing Dynasties. Fa Lizhong followed the local tea farmers to learn how to take care of the tea garden, how to collect tea and make tea, and devoted himself to the study of tea culture.
To produce tea of high quality, it is necessary to pick and roast them when just one or two tea leaves bud before or after the Qingming period. The tea is not only nutritious, but also has a good shape and color. Therefore, this period is also the busiest season for him.
This tea plantation cultivated and managed by Fa Lizhong can produce more than 10 kilos of Maojian Tea and 150 kilos of leaf tea a year. Apart from drinking a small amount of tea by himself, most of them are sold out through friends, some of which are sold to France, Austria, South America and other regions.
According to Fa Linzhong, he manages tea gardens most of the year and returns to France for a month or two to give lectures to the students of Confucius Institute on Chinese culture, including teaism.
Wudang Tea, first planted, produced, and consumed by Taoist, had been widely circulated among local villagers, which now seems to have completed a handover that spans time and space. The“Taoist”who came from a foreign land eliminated the gap between time and space because of culture and religion.