China: Jiying Xu

Let tea flowers serve for the health of all mankind while China opens to the world.

— Jiying Xu

Xu Jiying is director of the Zhonglinluyuan (Beijing) Tea Flowers Research Center. She has devoted more than 20 years to the study of the uses of tea flowers, thus changing this once ignored part of tea trees into an important asset to mankind. Without charging any fees, she has devised and conducted training courses for over 10,000 tea planters from all over China.

In the winter of 1949 various kinds of beautiful tree flowers were blossoming in the tea gardens in the hilly areas of Anhui Province, China. At that time, one child from a Xu family that had grown tea there for generations died. The sad father, accompanied by neighbors, went out for a walk. The biggest blossoming tea tree caught their attention. When they got closer they found that beneath the tree a baby girl covered with torn clothes was almost dead. They regarded this girl as an angel sent by God to the Xu family to compensate their loss. The little girl grew up in this tea garden and has not been separated from tea since then. The girl's name was Xu Jiying. She is known to be a person crazy about tea and is the first person to do research and development on tea flowers. Her aim was to make them loved and used by adults. Xu finally realized her childhood dream when she was admitted by Anhui Agricultural University to study in the Department of Tea. She learned from the experts and professors, absorbing everything. In the Zhonglinluyuan (Beijing) Tea Flowers Research Center, she is responsible for the development of technology in tea. In addition to her daily work, she spends all of her leisure time studying tea flowers. In the past 20 years, she has invested more than 26 million yuan in her tea tree flower research work and she is devoted to her work. Many call her a workaholic, a maniac or a tea lover. But she does not care.

Zhonglinluyuan (Beijing) Tea Flowers Research Center