The tea that caused a diplomatic crisis

Tea tasting. Johanna Read

Published today in Montecristo Magazine, is my story about Big Red Robe tea. One of the most expensive teas in the world, it supposedly triggered President Nixon’s temper during his inaugural visit to China to meet Chairman Mao Zedong.

I got to visit the Big Red Robe mother tree during my March press trip to Fujian province and then to the porcelain capital of the world in Jiangxi province.  Both provinces are lovely tourist destinations — surprisingly green and with some of the most spectacular mountains I’ve ever climbed (more on that to come!).

Painting porcelain. Johanna Read

Freshly hand-painted porcelain, ready to be fired in the kiln at the Gu Yan factory in Jngdezhen, Jiangxi

Read more about this exceptional tea and the legends behind it in my Montecristo article, Big Red Robe: Tea of legends. Please flip through all the photos too!

I have lots more stories about China, including about suspending disbelief in Shanxi and about becoming a mini-celebrity.  I’ll soon have a China story in United Airlines’ in-flight magazine too. Links are all on the China page.

Mt. Wuyi’s TianYou Peak has tea bushes everywhere. Small photo by Johanna Read

On Tianyou Peak, above the tea trees and the Nine Bend River in Fujian’s Wuyi Mountains

Note: my three trips to China have all been hosted by the Chinese National Tourism Office, but all opinions are my own and no one from the agency reviewed or approved any of my articles. 

2 responses to “The tea that caused a diplomatic crisis

  1. Fascinating story! And it makes us really want to see that part of China. THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

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