NANCHANG, June 2 (Xinhua) -- A group of tea masters born in the 1990s have drawn public attention by performing at two tea competitions ahead of the ongoing China International Tea Expo (Nanchang) in east China's Jiangxi Province.
Dai Haiqing participated in the hand-made tea competition in Fuliang County and presented his tea roasting skills during the tea-art competition in Wuyuan County late last month.
The 22-year-old, who was born to a family of tea growers, became a tea master after graduating from Jiangxi Wuyuan Tea School and now works for a local tea company.
"When I was 7 or 8 years old, I helped pick tea leaves. While in middle school, I went back home on weekends to help my parents to roast tea-leaves," he said.
"Wuyuan boasts the ideal environment and climate for tea planting. I want to preserve traditional tea-making techniques and promote local tea to the whole country," he said.
"The more I get to know about traditional techniques, the more I appreciate them," said Huang Yanmei, a 21-year-old tea-making competitor from Hunan Agricultural University.
Regularly, fresh te in a deep wok. This process allows the leaves to dry in a way that preserves their full flavour.
"Making high-quality tea gives me a sense of accomplishment that makes me forget the pains of the process, for example, burning my hands on the wok," Huang said.
For Wang Chuangchuang, an 18-year-old who studies tea processing in Chongqing, making tea requires hard work and patience.
After six months of practice, Wang managed to grasp how to roast fresh tea leaves without destroying their shape. Since then, he has fallen in love with his career as a tea master.
"I wish to work for a tea company first and then start a business in my hometown," Wang said.
Li Hongyu, from Qufu in Shandong Province, chose the tea-culture major at Jiangxi Wuyuan Tea School out of curiosity.
"I had an intuition that it might change my life, so I decided to follow my heart despite my family's opposition at first," Li said.
She likes the atmosphere of the school, especially on weekends, when groups of students gather on the grass on campus, brewing and drinking tea, chatting and enjoying their leisure time.
Li plans to work in Jiangxi for a few years before going back to her hometown to open her own tea house or teach tea ceremonies. "Qufu is deeply influenced by Confucianism. Where there is traditional Chinese culture, there is tea culture."
"People can enjoy a cup of tea at a tea house with friends, or at home with family, or in office during work. I will join other young people to promote the traditional Chinese tea art and let more and more people love tea," Li said.