Mr. Zhu (Dragon Well Tea)
Mr. Zhu has lived his whole life in peaceful Dragon Well Village, just on the other side of the mountains from bustling Hangzhou city. Growing and processing Dragon Well tea is what he’s always done. He, his wife, and their young and playful daughter live down in the valley, with amazingly picturesque mountainside tea fields surrounding them on three sides.
He’s a family man and simple in his pursuits and routines. His life revolves around tea production in this sleepy town. Actually, tea-picking season seems to be the only time there’s any action at all in this serene mountain village. He, like everyone else in the village, simply desires to follow the well-developed Dragon Well production methods and uphold the stellar reputation Dragon Well green tea has had throughout the centuries in China.
And now that green tea drinking is on the rise throughout the world, he is excited about the possibility of his hometown becoming famous internationally, though he is concerned about globalization influencing his peoples’ simple way of life. He knows a great deal about Dragon Well history, traditions, varieties, and qualities. He can talk for hours about how to judge the quality of Dragon Well, and we know this from experience! He likes to remind people that he doesn’t consider himself an expert, though it would be difficult to find someone more knowledgeable on his tea. Regardless of the fact that he shies away from praise or attention of any kind, he is an expert and a fountain of specialized tea knowledge.
As famous as his local tea is, he is a humble man who doesn’t seem to realize the magnitude of the appreciation the world has for his craft. He doesn’t seem comfortable being a representative for his town and their world-renowned tea either, almost as if he doesn’t feel worthy. It’s the classic Chinese humility at it’s finest, and he won’t let fame or fortune influence his way of life.
As exciting as the globalization-fulled economic growth in China is for everyone, Mr. Zhu is comfortable with things staying the way they are. For the sake of tea drinkers around the world, we hope he can keep the Dragon Well traditions alive.