Wed

09

Oct

2013

12 Famous pu-erh tea mountain

Yunnan province produces the vast majority of pu'er tea. Indeed, the province is the source of the tea's name, Pu'er Hani and Yi Autonomous County. Pu'er is produced in almost every county and prefecture in the province, but the most famous pu'er areas are known as the Six Famous Tea Mountains.

The six famous tea mountains are a group of mountains in Xishuangbanna, renowned for their climates and environments, which not only provide excellent growing conditions for pu'er, but also produce unique taste profiles (akin to terroir in wine) in the produced pu'er tea. Over the course of history, the designated mountains for the tea mountains have either been changed or listed differently

 

In the Qing dynasty government records for Pu'er  the oldest historically designated mountains were said to be named after six commemorative items left in the mountains by Zhuge Liang,and using the Chinese characters of the native language of the region. These mountains are all located northeast of the Lancang River (Mekong) in relatively close proximity to one another. The mountains' names, in the Standard Chinese character pronunciation are:

 

Gedeng (革登山): The term for "leather stirrup" (马蹬, pinyin: mǎdèng)

Mansa (慢撤山): The term for "seed sowing bag" (撒袋, pinyin: sǎdài)

Mangzhi (莽枝山): The term for "copper cauldron" (铜鉧, pinyin: tóngmǔ) 

Manzhuan (蠻磚山): The term for iron brick" (铁砖, pinyin: tiězhuān)

Yibang(倚邦山): The term for "wooden clapper" (木梆, pinyin: mùbāng)

Yōulè (攸樂山): The term meaning "copper gong" (铜锣, pinyin: tóngluó)

Southwest of the river there are also six famous tea mountains that are lesser known from ancient times due to their isolation by the river.

They are: 

Mengsong (勐宋山):

Menghai (勐海山):

Jingmai (景迈山):

Nánnuò (南糯山): a varietal of tea grows here called zĭjuān whose buds and bud leaves have a purple hue.

Bada (巴达山):

Yōulè (攸乐山):

 

For various reasons, by the end of the Qing dynasty or beginning of the ROC period, tea production in these mountains dropped drastically, either due to large forest fires, overharvesting, prohibitive imperial taxes, or general neglect. To revitalize tea production in the area, the Chinese government in 1962 selected a new group of six famous tea mountains that were named based on the more important tea producing mountains at the time, including Youle mountain from the original six.

Many other areas of Yunnan also produce pu'er tea. Yunnan prefectures that are major producers of pu'er include Lincang, Dehong, Simao, Xishuangbanna, and Wenshan. Other tea mountains famous in Yunnan include among others:

 

Bāngwēi (邦崴山)

Bānzhāng (班章): this is not a mountain but a Hani ethnicity village in the Bulang Mountains, noted for producing powerful and complex teas that are bitter with a sweet aftertaste

Yìwǔ (易武山) : perhaps the most popular tea mountain amongst collectors.

Bada(巴達山):

Wuliang:

Ailuo:

Jinggu:

Baoshan:

Yushou:

 

Region is but one factor in assessing a pu'er tea, and pu'er from any region of Yunnan is as prized as any from the six famous tea mountains if it meets other criteria, such as being wild growth, hand-processed tea.

Write a comment

Comments: 1

  • #1

    Dee Sallows (Thursday, 17 October 2013 05:54)

    Thank you.
    This is such a great pleasure to read.
    I wonder if the Buddha included the growing of tea as 'Right Livelihood'.
    Truly splendid philosophy, history and dedication to perfection.
    Wonderful tea.

    Dee

  • loading