UNESCO Celebration Event: Meet China’s Tea Masters
On November 29th 2022, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage added the ‘traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China’ to its cultural heritage list.
To celebrate, UKTA will host a very special event, offering a unique opportunity to meet three of China’s prestigious Tea Masters and taste some of their outstanding teas.
Almost exactly one year on from the UNESCO listing, our online gathering of tea masters, prestigious tea veterans, and UKTA students and friends, will celebrate the important recognition that UNESCO has awarded Chinese tea. UKTA is honoured to have been invited to share the wonderful news with our students and tea lovers around the world and we are thrilled to be able to offer not just the teas to taste but the chance to meet three of the most important tea masters who are famous for processing particular types of tea. And our fourth guest is a member of the China Tea Academy and tutor of the 1st session of Shanghai Senior Tea Master Class.
The event will take place online on Saturday 25th November 2023 at 10am UK time.
Meet the Tea Masters who will join us for this rare and special event:
Yang Yajing (杨亚静女士)
Representative: Inheritors of Intangible Cultural Heritage Purple Bamboo (Green) Tea Making Technique
Yang Yajing, a Level One Tea Art Master, Tea Appraiser, President of the Changxing County Agricultural Products Agents Association, and Chairman of the Changxing County Purple Bamboo Tea Industry Agricultural Cooperative, has devoted over 40 years to the frontline of the Purple Bamboo Tea production. She is a steadfast guardian of the Changxing Purple Bamboo Tea tradition, known for her outstanding skills and innovative approaches.
Yang Yajing successfully restored and innovated the processing techniques of Da Tang Tribute Tea – Purple Bamboo Cake Tea, along with reviving Lu Yu’s tea brewing method and the Tang Dynasty tea art “Da Tang Court Tea Ceremony”. She has also designed three modern brewing methods suitable for Purple Bamboo Cake tea. In addition, Yang Yajing continuously researches and develops to create a series of teas using the Purple Bamboo tea cultivar, such as Changxing Red Yun (Congou Black Tea) and White Beauty (Aged White Tea), which have received widespread praise in the market.
She actively supports the preservation and inheritance of Purple Bamboo tea-related tea culture. Yang Yajing has been tutoring tea culture education at Shuikou Adult Culture and Technical School and “Da Tang Tea Brewing” for the Chinese Tea Society and the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Wang Guangxi (王光熙先生)
Representative: Inheritors of Intangible Cultural Heritage Green Tea Making Technique, Anhui Province
Wang Guangxi was born in 1952 in Xiuning County, Anhui Province, and in 2015, he became the inheritor of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Song Luo green tea production. His tea journey began in 1980 when he started selling his family’s and villager’s tea to Shanghai. After nearly 10 years of hard work, Song Luo tea sold over 1 million kilograms in Shanghai alone, earning him the title of “Shanghai’s Green Tea King”.
In 1994 he established his tea company in his hometown, naming it Huangshan Wang Guangxi Song Luo Tea Industry Co., Ltd. The company follows the business philosophy of “dedicating his lifetime to perfecting a single pot of tea” focusing on producing high-quality tea and promoting tea culture globally.
Today, the company has emerged as a leading enterprise in the tea industry, engaging in various activities such as tea planting, production, acquisition, processing, sales, scientific research, teaware and tourism development. Under the brand “Fine Song Luo Tea”, Song Luo tea is now sold in over 20 countries and regions worldwide. Wang Guangxi’s dedication to producing exceptional tea and promoting tea culture has made his company a prominent player in the international tea market.
Liu Tongyi (刘同意先生)
Representative: Inheritors of Intangible Cultural Heritage Keemun Black Tea Making Technique
Liu Tongyi is a renowned figure in the black tea industry, holding titles such as Chinese Tea Master, National Level One Tea Appraiser, and Shanghai Craftsman. He has been entrusted with multiple assignments by the National Tea Quality Testing Centre and the Shanghai Tea
Industry Association to support other regions’ tea companies in producing black tea using the processing techniques of Qimen Black Tea. Notably, his contributions were particularly successful in the creation of new black teas such as “Xinyang Red” and “Youlan Red”.
As a recognised inheritor of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for Qimen Black Tea production, Liu Tongyi has played a significant role in promoting and preserving the traditional art of black tea making. His expertise has led to the development of a new handmade tea called “Hongxiuqiu” for Qimen Black Tea in 2015, which has received many accolades from consumers.
Beyond his contributions to tea production, Liu Tongyi is also committed to supporting poverty alleviation efforts through the coordination of tea production initiatives. His dedication to the inheritance and promotion of black tea production techniques has earned him the admiration and recognition of the tea community and industry at large.
Liu Zhongrui (刘钟瑞先生)
Former Manager of Shanghai Hu Xinting Tea House & Veteran Tea Expert
Liu Zhongrui is a member of the China Tea Society and has served as a director of the 5th, 6th, and 7th terms of the Shanghai Tea Society. He was a tutor for the first year of the Shanghainese tea art training class and the first director of the China International Tea Culture Research Association.
From 1978 to 1995, Liu Zhongrui worked as the manager of Shanghai Huxingting Tea House which is the oldest existing teahouse in Shanghai. During his time, he had the honour of hosting distinguished guests including Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, several foreign heads of state, and prominent figures from both domestic and international arenas.
If you are interested in attending this event please see this page.