Cai Ru Gui (蔡如桂) The King of Shaanxi Tea

If there is someone to know in the tea industry, it is 蔡如桂 ( Cai Ru Gui ), a modern day tea Master who has dedicated his entire life to Chinese tea.  Recognized in Asian nations for his expertise, Rugui is one of the most significant tea pioneers in recent times. However, while Rugui is known by his peers as "The King of Shaanxi Tea," the grand tea master remains virtually unknown outside of Asia despite the accolades and awards he has received.

 

Cai Rugui 蔡如桂 Tea Master, China

In 1966, Cai Rugui graduated from the Anhui Agricultural University, Department of Tea

Cai Ru Gui, Tea Master, Graduation

Cai Rui Gui, Tea Master and Senior Agronomist

After graduating, he was assigned to the Daba Mountain region of Shaanxi Province, one of China's most remote yet historic areas that had been left pure and untouched for centuries.  Only after long exploratory hikes, did Rugui discover ancient tea trees and an occasional tea garden scattered in what appeared to be virgin land. Tempted by fate, Rugui was determined to hand pick tea leaves from this pristine environment to make a superior tea steeped in selenium-rich soils of Daba mountain.

Daba Mountain Qinba tea

Rugui was once quoted as saying the only thing in life he "loves as much as tea was his wife!"  Despite writing hundreds of essays, articles and books about tea, winning major national awards and historic accomplishments, Rugui remains a very humble and reserved person:  his life is tea and his wife.  

 

Cai Rugui and Wife

Cai Rugui with his wife  of 50+ years Yuan Cai Ting

Cai Rugui 蔡如桂 Tea Master, presents an Award to one of his students

July 12, 1989, China's People Daily, the main newspaper in China, ran a front-page story about Rugui and his life-long dedication to the promotion of all aspects of organic and sustainable tea promotion. 

Cai Rugui 蔡如桂 Tea Master, China

 

Before retiring, Rugui (蔡如桂) was the Director of the Shaanxi Province Tea Research Institute in Hanzhong as well as the Vice-Chairman of The Hanzhong City Tea Society and served  as Vice Chairman and Senior Agronomist of Zhenba County CPPCC 

He was the author of "Tea Road",  Shaanxi Province tea industry series and many others. In 1993, Rugui was awarded an Agriculture Certificate of Honor by the Ministry of Agriculture of China.

 

Cai Rugui 蔡如桂 Tea Master and Tea Research, China

 

He founded the Hanzhong Tea Research Institute, to guide the tea farmers around the cultivation techniques, to participate in research and development of green, organic and sustainable tea-specific fertilizer. 

 

Cai Rugui 蔡如桂 Organic fertilizer, Organic and sustainable tea farming

 

For more than a half of a century dedicating his life to tea and tea research,

in 1984, he successfully fulfilled his life long dream of creating what was to him the purest tea in China - Qinba Wu Hao. In 1997, Qinba Wu Hao was awarded the Shaanxi Provincial Grand Prize by the People's Government. 

Cai Ru Gui, Daba Mountain Tea Master, Selenium rich high elevation tea mountain in China

 

In 2008, Rugui retired, but he did not leave tea. He still oversees every step of Qinba Wu Hao's production.  In the very mountains in which his legacy will live in the shadows of Daba mountain for ever.  Now, his masterfully created teas are available in the North America.  Be the among the first to experience Rugui's time-honored, hand-selected, selenium-rich libation. 

Cai Rui Gui, Tea Master and Senior Agronomist over seeing production

Cai Rugui (second from left) in the guidance of staff production of tea.
Figure ② Cai Rugui (left) in the view of tea growth.
Figure ③ Cai Rugui (middle) in the teaching staff tea.