Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


Join My Mailing List


Connect with me

   

   

   

   

   

   

Tea and Paper Travels in China

There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh tea flowers, or a pinch of Pu'er tea to warm up a cold morning.

image

Nanluoshan (in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province) is a mountain in southwest China, long famous for its fine teas.

paper wrapped tea

My travels to Nanluoshan were not for tea, but for paper.

image (3)

This Dai village on Nanluoshan makes mulberry paper for wrapping the region's famous teas. 

Unlike plastic, a wrapper of handmade paper 'breathes' and lets the tea age gracefully over the years.

image (6)

There were papermakers everywhere.

image (4)

As in Thailand, most of the Dai papermakers were women.

There was even one who handled her drill as confidently as Rosie the Riveter – this was the first drill I've ever seen used at a paper factory.

11870489845_3084d7b1fb_o 

We followed a woman with a wheelbarrow-full of paper pulp to a house which was filled with paper molds…

image (8)

from floor to ceiling – a long narrow shape I'd not seen before.

image (9)

Turns out it's perfect for wrapping tea cakes.

Papermaker in Xishuangbanna

After I bought 45 sheets of different papers for my China Paper Collection, I sat with my guide a while under a canopy, and watched the afternoon light fade through paper screens.

image (12)

Naturally, You Know Who was watching over us, too.

image (2)

Poster on the terrace of a Dai papermaker's home

Share
Previous Post
Next Post

Comments are closed.