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Hot Summer, Cold Tea
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  • A delivery man passing by the tea stall drinks tea to quench his thirst on July 29
  • Gu Zhonggen and a volunteer in front of the herbal tea stall on July 29
  • A resident in Hangzhou sips cold herbal tea in front of the tea stall on July 29
  • Two pedestrians wait for their free tea on July 29
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Although Gu Zhonggen’s tea stall is simple, it is hailed as the most impressive one in the Changmingsi Alley community, Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province. It has supplied free herbal tea to pedestrians for 41 years. Every summer, the tea stall opens on the first day of Sanfu—the hottest period in summer—and closes at the end after nearly 40 days. The tradition was started by Gu’s grandmother.  

Seven years ago, however, Gu’s mother passed away and left him to support the tea stall on his own. Given that Gu is 80 years old, a team of volunteers organized to help him run the tea stall. Students from the China Academy of Art specially designed and modified a cart with multifunctions for him. Nowadays, only when in good physical condition, will Gu serve in the tea stall alongside the volunteers. 

(Photos by Xinhua) 

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