Falling Leaves Return To The Roots

Luo ye gui gen (falling leaves return to the roots) describes a longing to return to xiang tu (one’s hometown) in one’s later years of life. In this episode, we travel to Yunnan, hometown of the world’s oldest tea trees.

What You'll Do

We explore the folk customs specific to Yunnan, China’s most diverse province and discuss the transformative role capitalism played in making Puer tea one of the most valuable in the industry. We offer a practical approach to choosing and evaluating Puer tea informed by distinct value indicators of aged and “rare” Puers.

How It Works

1. Book Session

Choose a date and time

2. Take Delivery

Teas arrive by mail before your session.

3. Join Online

Sessions are hosted live on Zoom.

Tasting Menu

Lao Man E

Lao Man E, Bulang, Yunnan


Your Hosts


Co-founder, Shifting Senses

"Curiosity is the beginning of understanding." says Rong Gao of her approach to tea. Born in China, she spent her formative years in her family teahouse, or as she puts it: "Tea is in my roots."

Weaving inherited cultural wisdom with her interests in anthropology, history, traditional medicine, economics and spirituality, Rong leads our Destination Tastings experiences, using intimate, first-person storytelling to illuminate and bring context to the breadth and complexity of Chinese culture over tea.


Co-founder, Shifting Senses

"When I get quiet enough to listen, tea can tell me so much about who I am. It connects me to the past, and the stories it carries hold a mirror to the present."

An inveterate coffee drinker turned lao cha gui, Levi searches to locate commonalities between seemingly disparate concepts and tea one sip at a time.

What Other's Are Saying


In-person & online immersions in the ancestral home of tea

Tea is a record of time and space, of our Earth’s history. Born from the soil of a place, nurtured and revered by its people, tea is a living embodiment of xiang tu (a village or hometown). Xiang tu zhi qing describes the innate longing for the familiarity and sense of belonging to where we come from. Destination Tastings seek to locate, explore, understand and deepen our connection with our roots.

On The Land of Xiang Tu is an immersive tea tasting series following the natural cycle of birth and rebirth. Join us on a journey to nine distinct regions of China as we uncover the cultural, economic and anthropological contexts of tea’s origins. Take part in tea’s storied lineage with pairings from each region and experience first-hand how gongfu practice enriches and expands your relationship with self, others, the natural environment and the world.

This session is hosted live on Zoom. After you book your session, you’ll receive an email with a link and details on how to join.

Throughout this 60 minute session, you'll be brewing our Lao Man E tea together with your hosts and fellow participants.

Upcoming Sessions

Fri, Jun 21

8:45 AM - 9:45 AM (EST)

$314 / person

Tue, Jun 25

6:45 PM - 7:45 PM (EST)

$314 / person

Thu, Jun 27

8:45 AM - 9:45 AM (EST)

$314 / person

Tue, Jun 18

6:45 PM - 7:45 PM (EST)

$326 / person

Request Availability

Contact us for dates and times not listed, or to schedule a 1-on-1 or private group session.

$314 /person

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