In Zhangjiajie, tea tree can be seen almost everywhere. In summer, some chubby fruits, which are called Chabao (means the bracts) by local people, start to appear in the branches of those tea trees. According to local’s understanding, Chabao is divided into two kinds:
1, Chabao. Hanging on the crown, usually the middle of it, Chabao is as large as apple. Generally speaking, its color is white. Within the Chabao, it is empty. Chabao is just like a white gas mantle when you see from a distance. You should only eat its light green or white epidermis after removing the light yellow peel, then the inside pulp. Actually, it tastes a little obscure and bitter at once, but you may sense sweetness later.
2, Chaer. This kind is similar to tea leaf because it is a mutant of tea leaf. Chaer’s tender and white appearance may catch your attention easily. Different from Chabao, Chaer grows on new branches of tea tree, especially tree waist. At the very beginning, Chaer appears to be light red, and gradually turns to white, then become white wholly when it is ripe. At that time, Chaer becomes crystal clear and sweet.
Translated by Becky