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China Daily Website

Tea time

Updated: 2013-11-28 01:41
By Sun Li ( China Daily)

Tea time

Snow chrysanthemum, which grows in the Kunlun Mountains in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, is dried for a prized herbal tea.Photo provided to China Daily

About 800 people were interviewed. To find the right people in foreign countries, the team hired foreign directors and documentary makers to help with the research.

Some 60 characters were finally selected for the documentary, whose stories serve as the episodes' narrative threads.

The documentary focuses on some eminent figures in tea circles, such as Stephen Twining, the 10th-generation heir to the London-based tea maker Twinings, a Royal Warrant holder, and Zhang Tianfu, a 104-year-old tea expert who invented China's first tea-rolling machine.

But most of the subjects are common people whose lives are intertwined with tea, Wang says.

One episode followed a Tibetan's pilgrimage to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region.

"In her long and exhausting journey, she had to draw energy from the yak-butter tea, which served as a strong back-up in her spiritual quest," Wang says.

As the woman proceeded in the religious fashion, the production team had to walk alongside her to record the trek. It took the crew more than 20 days to finish the 200-km journey.

Wang says at times the crew risked their lives for the shoot.

A dangerous cliff road challenged the team as they searched for snow chrysanthemum, a highly valuable plant grown in the Kunlun Mountains in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Chrysanthemum flowers are popular for herbal tea in China.

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