The visit to Bifengxia Panda Reserve went perfectly until one of my panda buddies invited me to join him on a 10-metre-tall tree. I am afraid of heights. Just thinking about them makes me feel ill and dizzy. I needed to sit down and have a good cup of tea to regain my composure. Luck was on my side. Sichuan has an abundance of teahouses and plantations. My companions whisked me off to Mengding Mountain, a two-hour drive from Chengdu , capital of Sichuan, to find my cure. Legend has it that tea was first cultivated by a Buddhist monk called Wu Lizhen on this mountain with fertile soil and plentiful rain. Sichuan is known for its fragrant green tea and jasmine tea. But the best of the best is the mountain's Ganlu ('sweet dew'). Tea not only calms the mind but also helps release heat and poison from our bodies, it is said. It is perfect after walking around for hours meeting new panda friends and trying spicy Sichuan cuisine. Japanese researchers found green tea even offers protection against cancer. It seems a cup a day keeps the doctor away. Twice a year, farmers harvest tea leaves on Mengding, which is covered from top to bottom by tea bushes. They collect the first flush, which gives top-grade, light and delicate tea, in the spring and the second flush, with stronger flavours, in early summer. The shrubs rest for the winter. At a teahouse halfway up the mountain, a master demonstrated how to make a good tea pot. He rinsed the leaves with water at 80 to 85 degrees Celsius. Then he poured lukewarm water into a kettle - which had a one-metre-long spout - until it was two-thirds full. What came next was a dramatic pouring technique combining martial arts, dance and gymnastics. He spun, tossed and flipped the kettle before filling my cup. I was impressed by stunts such as Nodding Phoenix and Boy Prays to Buddha. He had raised the humble act of serving tea to a fine art. I wish I had longer limbs so I could be the next kung fu dog and pour a mighty pot of tea for my Young Post family.