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Da Xue Shan Terroirs

Da Xue Shan (大雪山) or Mount Da Xue is a name that resonates in the minds of many fans of puerh (Pu Er tea) tea. But there's he back ? Da Xue Shan literally means " large snowy mountain ", although the top of Da Xue Shan is never snowy , just can be sprinkled snow winters exceptional as was the 2013 .

But maybe he should start by recalling that there is not one but many mountains that name in China, and nothing but the Lincang area into account three , disorienting tea lovers looking the origin of their leaves . Among these Da Xue Lincang , at least two mountains are known for their teas. One is in the area of De Yong , and that the other borders the region Mengku , which it usually takes the name of Da Xue Shan Mengku . It is the latter that I propose to explore through this article.

Lincang in Yunnan lShuangjiang in LincangDa Xue Shan ZoneDa Xue Shan Zone
  • 1.Lincang in Yunnan l
  • 2.Shuangjiang in Lincang
  • 3.Da Xue Shan Zone

Chinese tea has no real AOC as it has for wine in France (despite some recent attempts to begin to approach ) . Thus we see Da Xue Shan on packages of different cakes tea, which may come from different terroirs of Da Xue Shan, isolated or assembled , and reflect natures are trees , varieties and very different ages.

And it starts with the origin of the garden, Da Xue Shan can also designate the top of this mountain , natural park surrounding the villages and gardens close to the park , but also the entire mountain Da Xue , and within the borders of Mengku ( Mengku Da Xue Shan) see outside , in the valleys of Nan Mei in the North or in the South region of Shahe , many areas have their own characteristics , varieties of tea plants and taste characteristics .

The top and Da Xue Shan drill

Da Xue Shan is known primarily for its summit, which at 3233m dominates the valley of Mengku to the east, and the Da Xing west , and much of Lincang . Around the top is a place sacred to all lovers of puerh (Pu Er tea) , an idyllic forest full of wild tea plants and we references to the very origin of tea.

Drill and Da Xue Shan ParkDa Xue Shan LandscapeDa Xue Shan drillDa Xue Shan drill
  • 1.Drill and Da Xue Shan Park
  • 2.Da Xue Shan Landscape
  • 3.Da Xue Shan drill

Following various abuses , especially on the illegal exploitation of wild tea plants and other rare species in this park , access to this one today requires special permission from the authorities. However, I have the chance to walk them repeatedly trails crisscrossing between wild tea millennia of this sacred forest.

It usually enters the forest from the east , from Da Sai Hu , one of the nearest village and the summit on the same ridge , or more difficult by the west from the village of Xiao Hu Sai . After walking some time the ridge leading to the summit amateur height continue its path while that lover tea plants take a small path to the south. This one traveled for the first time in 1997 when the discovery of large wild tea trees of Da Xue Shan, deeply into the heart of one of the most beautiful forests of Yunnan.

The landscape in which we find ourselves immersed is idyllic. Around a thin path lined with ferns draws a dense and mysterious plant world . In shades of green and ocher light plays with moss, lichen , texture and tortured trunks , constantly redrawing the environment as it appears to us . Creepers everywhere , clinging to trees, dancing in the air and draw in the sky incredible patterns.

The heart of the plant density , the path on which we put our feet seems soon be just a wire, a humble territory stretched the man drew in this lush nature. At regular intervals the vegetation changes almost beyond all that our path while gaining altitude or we slip from one side to the other.

Or around there we initially drew a dense tangle of graphic moss and branches, seems gradually redefine échellent and hierarchy of the forest. Mad vegetation calm giving way to huge trees for millennia rule over the mountain. These venerable trees dimensions are staggering . While they soar into the sky and their branches gives the drill a roof, they we need to stretch our neck and twisting like a vine to follow eyes the trunks , with the frustration of never being able to see one of them in full, giving places unreality .

Gigantic tree that emerges from the Da Xue Shan drillBig wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue ShanBig wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue ShanClose wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue ShanBig wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue ShanBig wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue ShanBig wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue Shan
  • 1.Gigantic tree that emerges from the Da Xue Shan drill
  • 2.Big wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue Shan
  • 4.Close wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue Shan
  • 5.Big wild tea tree in the forest of Da Xue Shan

Among these gigantic trees, tea bushes from another time . Sprung up there there's hundreds or thousands of years , these wild tea remind us of the era reigned tea sheltered forests, long before man has domesticated the fold has his palace. It is there, hidden among a multitude of other rare species , these tea bushes watching the top of the drill rare homes to venture far. Among these trees are found all kinds of Camellia in their wild form , the well known Sinensis first that under the hand of man has managed to produce an infinite number of flavor nuances and travel around the world any . But the forest is full of less known varieties , which are similar to Camellia Sinensis or any other branches of wild tea plants such as Camellia taliensis that the top of their slender trunks form clumps and play the giant cauliflower.

Wild Tea Tree in Da Xue Shan drillWild Tea Tree in Da Xue Shan drillWild Tea Tree in Da Xue Shan drillWild Tea Tree in the forest Da Xue ShanWild in Da Xue Shan drill
  • 1.Wild Tea Tree in Da Xue Shan drill
  • 4.Wild Tea Tree in the forest Da Xue Shan
  • 5.Wild in Da Xue Shan drill

And is located in the heart of Da Xue Shan drill among the most beautiful wild tea plants that we have discovered in an area of ​​850 acres included in altitude between 2200m and 2750m . The first of these venerable tea from a height of 16 meters and a circumference at the base of more than 3 meters was discovered in 1997. Shortly after we updated another large tree , slightly less high but with a record of trunk 4 meters in circumference. Various studies were then undertaken on these trees, the expert estimate that several thousand years .

Those are the tea plants , domesticated there's this long that by Blang and Lahu in the region that are most likely from the majority of old tea plants Mengku except , perhaps, trees from Bing Dao . If for hundreds of years ethnicities of the mountain have traveled these trails to gather in the heart of Da Xue Shan drill teas and wild plants, today it is a privilege to be able to drink the leaves. With the craze for puerh (Pu Er tea) 2000s , picking the wild tea is prohibited effect , and access to the forest surrounding the Da Xue Shan summit controlled .

While teas truly from park trees Da Xue Shan are very rare, it is still possible for the amateur motivated to have the privilege to enjoy some leaves. First of all there's to it that the older vintages , the previous restriction on access to the park , including the famous cakes produced by Mengku Rong Shi since 2001 ( for the Purple Cane Tea House and then to his own name since 2005) .

Slab wild tea Da Shan Rong Shi for Purple Cane 2001Slab wild tea Da Shan Rong Shi for Purple Cane 2001Rong Shi Da Xue Mengku Shan Ye Sheng Cha 2005
  • 1.Slab wild tea Da Shan Rong Shi for Purple Cane 2001
  • 3.Rong Shi Da Xue Mengku Shan Ye Sheng Cha 2005

But a number of local living in small villages on the edge of the forest also continue to pick up in a few leaves here and there. In spring of micro -productions that will never end in Market cakes , but you can enjoy on-site as Maocha or through a few pressings .

Trail in the heart of Da Xue ShanBud wild teaOne park ranger Da Xue ShanSmall craft workshop Nong Gong Da Xue Shan
  • 1.Trail in the heart of Da Xue Shan
  • 2.Bud wild tea
  • 3.One park ranger Da Xue Shan
  • 4.Small craft workshop Nong Gong Da Xue Shan

This is the case of the non-marketed only a few kilograms of leaves from the Da Xue Shan Park , collected in 2006 by residents living near the forest, and then pressed handcrafted in 2008 in the heart of the mountain by micro -production Blang a family in a small workshop Nong Gong .

Chargement du thé...

If access to restricted area around the top where the finest specimens of wild tea is so limited, the Da Xue Shan drill , however, does not stop there and extends from north to south across the crest the mountain, and there is a little further from the top of many wild tea plants that local also continue to gather as did their ancestors and to the delight of lovers of wild tea plants . By their relative rarity these teas will be sold in bulk ( maocha ) is compressed by different producers to make pancakes , often in limited quantities . We will have the opportunity to sample some later when we discuss in detail the wild tea Da Xue Shan .

Da Xue Shan, a land rich in history and Mountain

Remarkable for its somet which rises to 3233m , Da Xue Shan is not just a somet but a whole mountain , which was extinct about forty kilometers from the valley of Nanmei ( Linxiang ) north to the region of Sha He south , crossing the valley of Mengku (猛 库) of which it forms the western border.

View from the top of Da Xue ShanLocation of Da Shan XHEMap of Da Shan XeDa Xue Shan
  • 1.View from the top of Da Xue Shan
  • 2.Location of Da Shan XHE
  • 3.Map of Da Shan Xe
  • 4.Da Xue Shan

Ban Xi Shan Da Xue Shan Mengku

It is in the region Mengku , including special teas are deemed Da Xue Shan is the most famous and sought tea lovers .

Mengku is a valley oriented north-south , normalized by two natural borders. In the east the mountain Da Hei Shan separates the valley from that of Mengku Boshang and form the soil of East Mengku ( Ban Dong Shan, literally moitiée East) . A Da Xue Shan west , which separates Mengku Genma (耿马) and forms the soil of Mengku West ( Xi Ban Shan) . Inside Mengku so we're talking quite a few of Da Xue Shan, and we prefer the name of Ban Xi Shan ( West Moist Mengku ), although both names refer to the same mountain .

Mengku Da Xue ShanMengku ValleyVillage MengkuOld tea tree Bing Dao
  • 1.Mengku Da Xue Shan
  • 2.Mengku Valley
  • 3.Village Mengku
  • 4.Old tea tree Bing Dao

Worn by villages in the spotlight as Bing or Dao Xiao Hu Sai recognition teas Mengku has grown steadily in recent years , especially those from the western half of Da Xue Shan . In addition to the wild tea trees , which are a local specialty but by far not the most sought after tea lovers , it is above all the tea plants elders, Gu Shu Cha, domesticated there's generations of it by the inhabitants of the region , which are the most coveted for their high eating quality.

Prized for their size , age, and quality of their teas , these are trees that have made the reputation of the great villages of Da Xue Shan, of which the most important ( All mountain villages are in Detalles a future article on Mengku Ban Xi Shan) .

Xiao Hu Hu Da Sai and His former villages on the edge of the forest of Da Xue Shan

At the edge of the forest of Da Xue Shan and a few kilometers from his tomes are two ancient villages , east Da Sai Hu ( Hu Sai Grand大户 赛) perched at 1800m altitude on an east-west ridge who joined the Da Xue Shan summit , and Xiao Hu Sai (小 户 赛Little Sai Hu ) in the West , located at 1750m above sea level on a ridge parallel to that of Da Sai Hu ( Hu Sai large ) .

Xiao Hu Bing Dao after Sai is the most recognized and sought after village of Da Xue Shan for the number and quality of its ancient tea trees . The village is particularly isolated , perched atop a rare peak not reach the bottom of the valley and the road is there. Xiao Hu Sai is also surrounded to the east and west by two rivers which have their source in the Da Xue Shan drill , but also to the south by the arm of one of the river and whatever path that we borrow it will cross a bridge to reach the village . This will provide Xiao Hu Sai not only an excellent irrigation , but also a certain isolation that make gardens to the best preserved ancient teas all Shuangjiang .

Location of Xiao Hu SaiCha Shan He who rises in the heart of Da Xue Shan drillVillage Lahu Xiao Hu SaiYoung Lahu Xiao Hu Sai
  • 1.Location of Xiao Hu Sai
  • 2.Cha Shan He who rises in the heart of Da Xue Shan drill
  • 3.Village Lahu Xiao Hu Sai
  • 4.Young Lahu Xiao Hu Sai

The village is actually composed of three juxtaposed villages. A Han village, Zhai Yi (以 寨) fifty families, founded during the reign of Daoguang ( 1820-1850 ) from the village of Dou Fu Zhai and whose tea gardens have a hundred years , and two Lahu villages , much older , Liang Zi Zhai (梁子 寨) and Wa Zi Zhai (洼 子 寨) or live about 150 families and have the most beautiful ancient gardens Xiao Hu Sai .

Liang Zi ZhaiOld tea Liang Zi ZhaiHouse in the heart of ancient tea trees in Wa ZiZhaiWa Zi Zhai
  • 1.Liang Zi Zhai
  • 2.Old tea Liang Zi Zhai
  • 3.House in the heart of ancient tea trees in Wa ZiZhai
  • 4.Wa Zi Zhai

These ancient villages are still mainly composed of traditional houses of earth and wood, on stilts, although with the recent increase in prices there are more and more brand new workshops. Between the houses and in almost every garden that is big tea trees planted by their ancestors in the village, probably for own personal consumption of their families. But it is around these two village it is in real gardens former teas, among the finest tea plantations throughout the region .

These gardens are impressive both for their size than those of the trees that grow there . And there are more than 20 acres of trees over 5m high, and whose trunks exceed 1m circumference. The largest of these trees , whose trunks exceed 1.50m circumferences have 200 to 300 years , and probably planted by Blang summers before Lahu arrive in the mountains and long before the Dai and Han n ' enter it .

In ancient gardens Xiao Hu SaiIn ancient gardens Xiao Hu SaiIn ancient gardens Xiao Hu SaiIn ancient gardens Xiao Hu Sai
  • 1.In ancient gardens Xiao Hu Sai

When they are good, teas old trees Xiao Hu Sai are particularly fine , feminine and elegant. With a clear, very pale liquor , they have pure and crystalline aromas , very fine , and a tannic structure that plays discretion, supports many flavors of tea without taking the front or distort the subtlety and lightness of its flavorings .

Chargement du thé...

The other big garden Xiao Hu Sai is located next to the small river called Cha Shan He ( river mountain tea), which has its source in the heart of Da Xue Shan drill sneaks up between the tea plants ' Xiao Hu Sai . Since the Lahu village Ze Liang Zhai a small 3km trail , surrounded by tea plantations joined the river. It is a vast garden among largest of any Shuangjiang , which begins in the north where the drill Da Xue Shan, south and down the whole mountain to the valley . More recent than the original tea plants Xiao Hu Sai oldest trees of the gardens back to Guo Ming (1911-1949) , but the vast majority of trees planted summers of 1958 and cut during the Cultural Revolution to repel with sizes smaller on older trunks.

Gardens of the communist era Xiao Hu SaiYoung trees on ancient rootsGardens of the communist era Xiao Hu SaiGardens of the communist era Xiao Hu Sai
  • 1.Gardens of the communist era Xiao Hu Sai
  • 2.Young trees on ancient roots
  • 3.Gardens of the communist era Xiao Hu Sai

Teas from the garden doing well the character of Xiao Hu Sai and can, when carefully crafted , be of high quality, although they hardly reach the excellence of the oldest gardens Liang Zhai Ze .

Chargement du thé...

A few kilometers north of Sai Xiao Hu is the village of Sai Da Hu (大户 赛) . Located on a ridge joining the Da Xue Shan summit directly Sai Hu Da Da Xue Shan is the second highest village (after San Jia Zhai close ) . While teas Da Hu Sai are less recognized and listed as Xiao Hu Sai village Sai Da Hu is best known. It is in effect act as a gateway to access the Da Xue Shan drill and its famous wild tea , which has received a lot of this village, and brought a lot of people since the late 1990s.

As is the case of Xiao Hu Sai , the first villages in Da Hu Sai based there are over 300 years old, was an ethnic village, inhabited by Wa and Lahu . It thus remains still Xiao Hu Sai , specifically near the hamlet of Lahu He Zhai Bian few acres of mature gardens , planted before the arrival of Han , most of which have more than 200 years .

Around Da Sai HuOld tea Da Sai HuTea Garden in Da Sai Hupurple leaves on a tea Da Sai HuViolet Leaves a tea at Da Hu Sai
  • 1.Around Da Sai Hu
  • 2.Old tea Da Sai Hu
  • 3.Tea Garden in Da Sai Hu
  • 4.purple leaves on a tea Da Sai Hu
  • 5.Violet Leaves a tea at Da Hu Sai

The vast majority of trees Da Hu Sai however summers planted after the arrival of the Han and the establishment of the village De Da Hu Han Sai , between 1904 and 1920 , more than 30 hectares are still there today. If these trees do not have the size and the respectable age of the original trees Da Sai Hu , however, they are mature trees a hundred years , that with careful work of the producer may be the origin of high-quality teas .

Wild Tea Garden Li Wen QuanWild Tea Garden Li Wen QuanGarden Li Wen QuanWork sheets in Li Wen QuanWork sheets in Li Wen QuanLi Wen Quan
  • 1.Wild Tea Garden Li Wen Quan
  • 3.Garden Li Wen Quan
  • 4.Work sheets in Li Wen Quan
  • 6.Li Wen Quan

Taste to illustrate this tea worked directly in the village of Sai Da Hu Li Wen Quan and his family. Originally fu village. Li Wen Quan knows the mountain and Da Xue Shan drill . In particular, their misfortune to spend a few years in prison for cutting a tree with a rare and protected species in the park Da Xue Shan , 100 meters away from one of the largest wild tea tree in the park. Since he planted his own tea gardens on the edge of the forest of Da Xue Shan, whose plots wild tea tree . But Li Wen Quan also bought fresh for years to different families of the village, often unable to properly transform the leaves by itself leaves to produce maocha quality it offers various producers in the region.

Chargement du thé...

Bing Dao is the group of village Bing Dao

From the point of view of local Bing Dao (冰岛) is quite eccentric to Da Xue Shan and Mengku . Nestled in Northern Mengku , Bing Dao village is quite far from the summit, the boundary between Mengku Valley Nanmei .

Da Xue Shan MapLandscape at Bing DaoView from Bing DaoIn a garden tea Bing DaoBig tea tree Bing DaoBuds teas Bing Dao
  • 1.Da Xue Shan Map
  • 2.Landscape at Bing Dao
  • 3.View from Bing Dao
  • 4.In a garden tea Bing Dao
  • 5.Big tea tree Bing Dao
  • 6.Buds teas Bing Dao

Bing Dao is now though and definitely the most famous village of Da Xue Shan, but also all the Yunnan and more than 2000 euros per kg of crude maocha (2014) , authentic teas Bing Dao reach prices which no young puerh (Pu Er tea) could have asserted before. If it is less than a decade that we see such a craze around Bing Dao, the reputation of the village and its tea is not new and dates back to the fifteenth century.

We often hear that it is the village of Dao Bing originate all tea plants Mengku see by extension the local variety " Mengku large leaves" that can be found now in many region of Yunnan. This is not entirely false , and many gardens teas Mengku we probably born between 1500 and today from seeds or cuttings from Bing Dao, based myth Bing Dao mother of tea of Mengku , myth echoed by the famous pancake Mu Shu Cha (literally "mother of tea trees ) produced by Mengku Rong Shi from 2005 and completed the advent of this village.

Old tea tree Bing DaoGarden with former Bing DaoCollection of old trees Bing DaoCollection of old trees Bing DaoPicking old trees Bing Dao
  • 1.Old tea tree Bing Dao
  • 2.Garden with former Bing Dao
  • 3.Collection of old trees Bing Dao
  • 5.Picking old trees Bing Dao

However, very interesting research Zhan Ying Pei restore the truth recall the anticipation of tea gardens and Lahu Blang on the sides of Da Xue Shan, and evoke the true reasons for the reputation of Bing Dao and teas . As in many regions of Yunnan are the Blang who planted the first tea gardens of Mengku , There are between 800 and 2000 years ago, probably from seeds or cuttings from wild trees of the forest Da Xue Shan .

Later that towers Lahu are settling in the mountain, and found the now famous for the quality of their teas and their ancient gardens as Xiao Hu Sai villages or Nanpo ( at only 5km from the current Bing Dao ) . Built much later the village of Dao Bing stands out above all the other villages of the mountain by the ethnicity of its founders, and marks the arrival of Dai in the region. At the head of an important chief Dai Han Ting Fa , arrived in 1480 to take control of the region.

While that the heights of Mengku are populated by Blang and Lahu, Dai is confined in the plains , with the exception of Bing Dao Dai single village altitude. If they practice lowland agriculture , they lack the tea produced so far by the Lahu mountain . It is in 1480 , 5 years after the arrival of Han Ting Dai Fa that decide to establish their first tea garden to Bing Dao . For some reason that is not clearly established, but it can probably be attributed to the pride of Dai and their presupposed superiority over other ethnic groups in Yunnan , they do not plant these trees from trees in the area from the Lahu villages or Blang nearby, but send a delegation to look for seeds in the Xishuangbanna Dai and domination territory where the cultivation of tea was already highly developed .

Old tea tree Bing DaoOwner at Bing DaoYoung Lahu front landscape Bing DaoOld woman Lahu near Bing DaoBlang to Shuangjiang
  • 1.Old tea tree Bing Dao
  • 2.Owner at Bing Dao
  • 3.Young Lahu front landscape Bing Dao
  • 4.Old woman Lahu near Bing Dao
  • 5.Blang to Shuangjiang

It is from these reduced Xishuangbanna seeds were planted the first gardens Bing Dao , where he remains today very few trees. Dai , who quickly controlled the whole region and not just the tea, but also a "noble" tea, Dai origin , which differs from other teas produced by Blang and Lahu .

The assumption of superiority grape reported by Xishuangbanna Dai since compared to teas from Mengku is of course highly questionable , especially if we take into consideration the age had then these newly planted front gardens with old trees that had Lahu . This tea Dai Bing Dao does not have a taste singularity less obvious compared to other teas Da Xue Shan .

With the rapid domination of the region Dai tea Bing Dao becomes particularly valuable , recognized and desired , and are offered tea and seeds Bing Dao at official events , involving for example the heads of other regions. Authorization from the Chief Dai Shuangjiang was also in time to anyone who wanted to get seeds in the garden of Bing Dao .

In 1904 Han take direct control of the region Shuangjiang and former heads Dai ​​removed . With a solid reputation inherited from the era Dai but a typical taste and a recognized quality tea Bing Dao then back through the mountain man or horse for a day to be sold on market Mengtuo where some came from afar to buy this tea renowned .

On the long road that connects Bing Dao MengtuoOn the long road that connects Bing Dao MengtuoOn the long road that connects Bing Dao MengtuoMarket Mengtuo today
  • 1.On the long road that connects Bing Dao Mengtuo
  • 4.Market Mengtuo today

On their arrival in the 1950s communist interested in the potential that this tea , whose quality is recognized is , but not like that there's war elitism behind . While that old gardens Bing Dao are redeveloped between 40 and 50 acres of new gardens are planted around the village and seeds and cuttings Bing Dao tea plants are sent in more than twenty Yunnan region . Bing Dao and enters the communist mold , its variety is released while that teas villages are worked in community workshops , eventually assembled with other sheets in the large state-owned factories and awareness Bing Dao is lost gradually .

It was not until the mid 2000s that the name Bing Dao resurfaced. While booming puerh (Pu Er tea) , with prices skyrocketing since 2003 , we are interested more in old gardens and the emergence or re- aparition , renowned terroirs . It was then that in 2005 Mengku Rong Shi, influential producer in the region , press a wafer references to what is considered the first tea plants Mengku from the village of Dao Bing . This slab, Mu Shu Cha we will taste a little farther , whose name means "mother of arbrs tea " would be an assembly based around the village of Dao Bing .

Mu Shu Cha tea Bing Dao revealed that in the 2000sMu Shu Cha tea Bing Dao revealed that in the 2000sMu Shu Cha tea that revealed Bing Dao the 2000sMu Shu Cha tea Bing Dao revealed that in the 2000s
  • 1.Mu Shu Cha tea Bing Dao revealed that in the 2000s
  • 3.Mu Shu Cha tea that revealed Bing Dao the 2000s
  • 4.Mu Shu Cha tea Bing Dao revealed that in the 2000s

This tea , republished in 2006 was a great success and raise awareness teas Bing Dao, whose prices continue to increase from year to year. Ironically, if the Mu Shu Rong Shi Cha and thus contributed significantly to the current fame of this village, this producer has not gained much benefit , and if a tea with this name is re- pressed annually it is well known that tea contains more from 2007 single leaf from the village Bing Dao, the tea actually from the village today worth far too expensive for this type of public production.

With only a few tons produced each year, the true teas village Bing Dao are found almost on the market where 99 % of what is sold as from Bing Dao is the best surrounding villages , and often not even Mengku . We must therefore go to the village Bing Dao, where cars are searched at the entrance to prevent the import of tea from the outside , but be prepared to put more than 1000 euros in a small pouch 500g of tea , to taste authentic teas old trees Bing Dao .

Control and declarations of tea at the entrance to Bing DaoBing Dao village where the leaves are goldenBing Dao village where the leaves are goldenBing Dao where one buys samples per hundred dollarswith all profits villagers rebuild their homes
  • 1.Control and declarations of tea at the entrance to Bing Dao
  • 2.Bing Dao village where the leaves are golden
  • 4.Bing Dao where one buys samples per hundred dollars
  • 5.with all profits villagers rebuild their homes

But then again, if tourists and tea shops of all China are now making their pilgrimage to Bing Dao and exchange suitcases of cash against some tea bags , so that we build a big concrete parking lot in the heart of village, serious and specialized tea producers Bing Dao believes war originally teas sold in the village. For years they praise the trees they want, under contract for periods of 4 to 10 years , and send full-time employees on site to control every step of picking the packaging of the finished product daily!

rented Trees Bing Daorented Trees Bing Dao 100leased Trees Bing Dao rented Trees Bing DaoControl of the production of a producer to Bing Dao
  • 1.rented Trees Bing Dao
  • 2.rented Trees Bing Dao 100
  • 3.leased Trees Bing Dao
  • 4. rented Trees Bing Dao
  • 5.Control of the production of a producer to Bing Dao

I propose now to enjoy a maocha from a small producer in the village has a handful of old trees and in which is reflected the richness of this village after a few months of maturation.

Chargement du thé...

We readily agree the price of Bing Dao is overrated, and although good sheet Bing Dao can be particularly refined it is difficult for a young tea , especially a raw material straight from the bag peasants, to justify such a price . That being said teas Bing Dao can not only be of high quality but they have good character of their own . The typical characteristics of these teas is clear and is characterized by a very fine , a lot of depth , especially a deep and exacerbated smoothly.

That being said, if it there's a very common characteristic of teas Bing Dao it there's also a very large disparity between the different gardens Bing Dao . Bing Dao village has indeed seen different phases of development of its tea gardens and gardens ages and very different natures rubs . So if we see around pictures of monumental trees it is worth noting that these are exceedingly rare in Bing Dao, even within mature gardens , where the majority of large trees have cut it there's long summers of that to plant corn or other crops in more profitable than tea time . The large gardens Bing Dao is composed of newer trees, planted after the arrival of the communists in the 50s or the 90s with the opening of the market.

Few old trees that have survived in the midst of fieldsThe Other Face of Bing Dao much younger age trees we believeThe Other Face Bing Dao trees much younger age we believejust planted Bing Dao Very young trees
  • 1.Few old trees that have survived in the midst of fields
  • 2.The Other Face of Bing Dao much younger age trees we believe
  • 3.The Other Face Bing Dao trees much younger age we believe
  • 4.just planted Bing Dao Very young trees

Finally it is necessary to distinguish the main village of Dao Bing and villages belonging to the group of village Bing Dao as Nanpo (南 迫) Dijie (地界) Baway (坝 歪) and Nuowu (糯 伍) . Groups of villages are in fact administrative grouping who put behind the same name as villages sometimes close Nanpo or Dijie , but also sometimes as far Baway or Nuowu , naturally without worrying about the teas they produce character or concept terroir .

Teas and products to direct vicinity of the main village of Dao Bing have a very typical , and share a number of common character , including a rich aroma and a specific sweetness. This area includes the village of Dao Bing , now mostly Dai and Han , and both villags Lahu Nanpo 3 km Northwest and Dijiie , 3 km south- west, including all three in the group Village Bing Dao .

 Nanpo Lahu village on the heights of Bing DaoOld tea to NanpoOld tea to NanpoOld tea to Nanpo
  • 1. Nanpo Lahu village on the heights of Bing Dao
  • 2.Old tea to Nanpo

Until there's may be 2 or 3 years teas Lahu villages Nanpo Dijie and were generally not separate from the main village of Dao Bing . The technique was in fact not good enough in the villages and Nanpo Dijie , and places to sell cheap worked poorly tea, these Lahu villages preferred to sell their fresh leaves Bing Dao, where they worked and these were sold with the label Bing Dao .

With the sharp rise in prices Bing Dao , farmers in the region have not only acquired the means to train and equip themselves but also realized the value of producing their own maocha and more family workshops see now the day Nanpo Dijie and producing their own maocha and revealing the taste specificity of these villages. For various reasons ( natural conditions , nature and size of trees , etc ...) region Bing Dao is indeed particularly sensitive to the effect of the soil. So if the area around Bing Dao, Dao including Bing , Nan and Di Po Jie, share some typical well , each village, although they are only a few kilometers from each other , also has its own character .

To illustrate this taste excellent maocha of Dijie , worked fine so Mengku from purchased fresh leaves the village , through which reflected the richness and finesse of teas in the village .

Chargement du thé...

Although unfortunately with strong speculation around Bing Dao, the richness and specificity of the different terroirs Bing Dao remains largely misunderstood the name and Di Jie Nanpo rarely highlighted , and teas of these villages almost exclusively sold under the name Bing Dao .

Finally, as groups of villages are primarily administrative boundaries and not as some may believe designations on the land, they also include some remote villages or enjoy the natural conditions away . Thus the group Dao Bing also includes two villages Baway and Nuowu , not like Bing Dao located on the west side of Da Xue Shan but on the east side of the mountain opposite .

Village NuowuOld tree Nuowu Tea Garden in BawayBing Dao seen since Baway
  • 1.Village Nuowu
  • 2.Old tree Nuowu
  • 3. Tea Garden in Baway
  • 4.Bing Dao seen since Baway

Although these villages can produce high quality teas and depend administratively Bing Dao ( enjoying the passage of the rising prices of Bing Dao ) positioning and conditions that define these villages naturally distanced local Bing Dao and these villages are to relate to other villages Mengku East ( Ban Dong Shan) .

Nong Gong , the legacy of the Blang Da Xue Shan culture

Less well known today that Bing Dao, Nong Gong is a village steeped in history and culture that deserves mention and has long had a particular influence on the mountain and its teas. Long before the Dai from entering the valley and melt Mengku Bing Dao, the Blang and their ancestors have lived in the Pu Da Xue Shan Slope . It is not known exactly how long the Blang inhabit the area , but that was probably more than 1000 years behind us. As almost everywhere in Yunnan, but also on the other side of the border in Burma , it is these that Pu domesticated wild tea tree , and established the first ancient tea gardens .

Blang Temple in Nong GongMonk Nong Gong with teaGong Nong village of Blang teaTea Garden in Nong GongOld Tea Tree in Nong Gong
  • 1.Blang Temple in Nong Gong
  • 2.Monk Nong Gong with tea
  • 3.Gong Nong village of Blang tea
  • 4.Tea Garden in Nong Gong
  • 5.Old Tea Tree in Nong Gong

The Blang ethnic group are probably Yunnan has the richest culture of tea. Besides drinking tea as we do , or drink roasted tea as practiced almost all ethnic groups in Yunnan , the Blang also have a traditional and typical for brewing tea leaves method. These, just picked, are boiled in a section of freshly cut bamboo that is put into the flame , and sometimes flavored with honey. Blang but also have their own tea , a typical tea, fermented for several months underground , which is not wood, but generally we eat , combined with other foods.

Woman Blang Da Xue SahnCentral honey with tea culture BlangSuan Cha tea Blang ethnicSuan Cha tea Blang ethnicfermented tea Blang ethnic Burma
  • 1.Woman Blang Da Xue Sahn
  • 2.Central honey with tea culture Blang
  • 3.Suan Cha tea Blang ethnic
  • 5.fermented tea Blang ethnic Burma

Today almost consumed as at weddings and other important events Blang ethnic tea that was probably part of the common foods of Blang in ancient times , as can still be seen today not far away from the other side of the border with Burma . This could explain the importance of tea in Blang and the great expanse of tea gardens Blang compared to the very small size of villages.

It there's 1000 years of it any other ethnic group not lived in the region . Isolated between two high mountain bars of 3000 meters, the valley Mengku long remained the exclusive territory of Pu, before the arrival of Lahu , Wa , and then much later and finally Dai Han . The Blang , who planted the oldest and built the first villages in the mountains gardens, then gradually leave the area, and establish new villages elsewhere , leaving behind the trees of their ancestors to the Lahu and Wa today deal with most of the villages Han Da Xue Shan .

Nong Gong is thus one of the last town Blang Da Xue Shan, and is a living memory of the original tea growing in the mountains. Still found in the village of Nong Gong few elders who still know how to prepare the different traditional teas Blang , roasted and brewed or fermented in in sections of fresh bamboo.

But also tea and Blang ethnic tradition , Nong Gong also has long been an important place in the production of puerh (Pu Er tea) tea. The oldest Gong Nong remember in particular the existence of a genuine Nong Gong workshop making puerh (Pu Er tea) , which is called " Lao Jia Hao " -era large private producers before 1949 ( Hao ) , which is rare in Lincang . This workshop , probably in activity between 1900 and 1920 belonged to Mr. Ding and produced especially Jincha (compressed puerh (Pu Er tea) handmade mushroom ) who went on the road tea and horses to Da Li ( Xiaguan ) to be sold .

 tea garden Nong GongIn a small producer Nong GongCompression craft puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> tea Gong Nong as the débutdu centuryMushroom puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> as we produced in Nong Gong in the early twentieth century
  • 1. tea garden Nong Gong
  • 2.In a small producer Nong Gong
  • 3.Compression craft puerh (Pu Er tea) tea Gong Nong as the débutdu century
  • 4.Mushroom puerh (Pu Er tea) as we produced in Nong Gong in the early twentieth century

In the 30s it was the turn of a man influencing , Mr. Huang to develop tea Gong Nong , exporting this one on the road to Burma tea . With the arrival of the communists in the 50s Nong Gong is considered as an example for the production of tea and the local variety of Nong Gong selected for its quality. Will follow a phase of rationalization of tea plantation of Nong Gong , including size trunk of old trees and planting between 1957 and 2000 nearly 70 hectares of new tea gardens .

If you do not see in the gardens of Nong Gong monumental trees as can be seen for example in the gardens of Hu Xiao Hu Da Sai Sai or some ecological gardens still produce high quality teas , including those roots are ancient . To illustrate this I offer you a cup of tea from a beautiful gardens Nong Gong , worked directly Blang village by a family.

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Sha He, Nan Mei, Xing Da , Da Shan XHE beyond the Fronteres of Mengku

Da Xue Shan is for many fans inseparable tea area Mengku . Gold Mountain Da Xue does not stop at the borders of Mengku , and also continues well North and South or West , respectively in the regions of Nanmei ( Linxiang ) , Shahe ( Shuangjiang ) and Da Xing ( Gengma ) , or is beautiful tea gardens still little known.

Sha He and southern Shan Da Xue

The fifth crete Is Oust south of Da Xue Shan summit marks the border between the regions of the North and Mengku Sha He south . However, this is a purely arbitrary administrative boundary , which is not supported by the topology of the mountain, Da Xue Shan continued to slide south with the same succession of parallel ridges like waves.

Does not have the same fame Mengku , area of Sha He has however , especially on the side of Da Xue Shan , excellent soils , comparable to Mengku Da Xue Shan . Not eligible for the label Mengku , teas area Shahe are often simply sold under the name Shuangjiang but can quite compete with those of Mengku .

View Shahe Bangxie View Shahe BangxieFamily of tea producers in Shahe BanXie Tea Garden in ShaheVillage of Shahe Bang Xie
  • 1.View Shahe Bangxie
  • 2. View Shahe Bangxie
  • 3.Family of tea producers in Shahe BanXie
  • 4. Tea Garden in Shahe
  • 5.Village of Shahe Bang Xie

Near the border of Menkgu villages such as Blang village Bang Xie are of Moreover regarded by tea lovers as belonging to their character terroir Mengku and rating teas such village has been increasing in recent years, progressively aligning itself with prices Mengku .

This is the case for example of very good maocha Bang Xie , produced by Mr Feng, a small producer of the village heavily involved in Blang culture of the region .

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Mei Nan , Northern extension and Da Xue Shan Wild

North of Da Xue Shan flows in a small steep valley named Nan Mei located in the administrative region of Linxiang . Can known tea lovers , this tiny valley is isolated from Da Xue Shan by Crest Nanpo to be crossed by a small pass to enter.

Narrow and almost exclusively inhabited by ethnic Lahu , Valley Nanmei is isolated on all sides by towering mountains , and has been particularly well maintained development. So we find in the Da Xue Shan part related to Nan Mei beautiful old gardens and large trees in tea, on the outskirts of villages that seem Lahu come from another time .

Landscape in NanmeiIn a small village NanmeiOld trees NanmeiOld trees NanmeiOld trees Nanmei
  • 1.Landscape in Nanmei
  • 2.In a small village Nanmei
  • 3.Old trees Nanmei

There's no modern houses , no plastic greenhouses for drying leaves, just an old tractor here and there proves that it has not penetrated by I know not what fate amid su last century.

If the trees are beautiful and the valley of Nan Mei is a local copy of the obvious potential quality , Lahu who inhabit the mountain against live by from near autarky and still have a very relative production control puerh (Pu Er tea) such that we hear today. Worked very briefly in families , tea is consumed roasted according to Lahu tradition , and although the trees and the soil is of good quality it is still difficult to find fine quality puerh (Pu Er tea) in this part of Da Xue Shan .

With the current phenomenon around teas Bing Dao, however, the situation is changing in recent years, and it starts here and there to buy fresh leaves of some villages in Nan Mei for processing by people from outside which possess a better technique to produce superior puerh (Pu Er tea) . Different gardens have also leased summers in recent years by the same producer who rent gardens Bing Dao , probably in order to sell these teas as teas Bing Dao .

These teas, Nan Mei, are in fact almost never sold as coming from Nan Mei, their home village or Da Xue Shan, names largely unknown , and are generally sold improperly as teas Bing Dao . The true amateur , however, does not take leave , although teas Nan Mei can , when properly produced , be very high quality, flavor character clearly differs from typical teas Bing Dao .

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Besides the ancient tea trees , the people of Nan Da Xue Shan Mei also continue to exploit the wild trees of the forest nearby, and produce typical teas, sought after by lovers of wild teas. Depending on the variety of tea plants we reap the leaves, rich in anthocyanin , to produce a wild puerh (Pu Er tea) called in the region hei cha ( black tea ) and resembles a wild puerh (Pu Er tea) Mengku Da Xue Shan, or we will pick the buds , with which we can produce a white tea, caffeine-free , particularly fine and refreshing , marked by typical citrus keys ( the latter will be discussed later in the sections on wild tea plants ) .

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Da Xing, The hidden face of Da Xue Shan

Crest Da Xue Shan is the natural boundary of the valley Mengku , but more generally the border regions ENTERED Shuangjiang , where Mengku and Gengma , west of Shuangjiang .

The east side and Mengku Suhangiang have dramatically increased since the arrival of Han it there's between one and two hundred years ago, but also highly developed tea production in the region. Teas Mengku were already well known during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and were sent along the route of tea and horses , especially to Da Li ( Xiaguan ) where tea Mengku was particularly popular among producers puerh (Pu Er tea) . The arrival of the communists in the 50s still contribute to strong growth Shuangjiang tea and new tea gardens were established in most of the region .

Da Xue Shan LocationOld tea to MengkuOn the road tea and horses Mengku Da Li Village Dai Xing DaOld tea plants in a garden of Da Xing
  • 1.Da Xue Shan Location
  • 2.Old tea to Mengku
  • 3.On the road tea and horses Mengku Da Li
  • 4. Village Dai Xing Da
  • 5.Old tea plants in a garden of Da Xing

Besides that almost nobody has heard today teas Da Xing (大兴) and Man Hong (芒 洪) , located in the region of Gengma (耿马) . The West front of Da Xue Shan, isolated Mengku by a ridge near 3000m remains largely unknown. Much less populated and developed than the Shuangjiang side , this side is still mostly covered with dense forest and is probably a high concentration of wild tea plants , only parcemé here and there , especially in the north, a few villages remote , mostly Lahu .

Unexplored by tea lovers , these remote areas of Da Xue Shan are rich in beautiful old trees and wild tea plants . However, if these gardens have good potential , and include a number of high quality trees , lack of technical and rigor of those who inhabit the mountain when the transformation sheets are generally and yet teas very rough, lacking finesse and grace to become true tea tasting .

It found against by typical teas and quite charming as maocha wild tea plants that we enjoy , harvested and worked at home by a family in the village of Lahu Da Lu Shan, at 2200m altitude in North Da Xue Shan West . If the appearance of the leaves, a typical summary rolling as the ethnic practices at the heart of the mountain is quite extraordinary for a puerh (Pu Er tea) quality as understood today, it has a certain charm, genuine taste qualities and aromas that remind us of the origins of puerh (Pu Er tea) tea.

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Wild Tea Garden, the specialty of Da Xue Shan

As we have seen, Da Xue Shan and drill were noted in the late 1990s to the magnificent specimens of wild tea plants that have discovered summers. Picked up by the ethnic groups of the mountain the leaves of these trees are probably thousands summers consumed, drunk or eaten since the dawn of time.

Tea wild with black sheets

When we rediscover the wild tea plants in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we realize the potential taste of these leaves, and various wild puerh (Pu Er tea) tea plants were produced. These teas akin to raw puerh (Pu Er tea) and are sometimes called in the region hei cha (black tea), by the very dark color of their leaves, which are shared with the purple teas. As these leaves, black when dry, gradually revert with green teas.

Large wild tea tree in Da Xue ShanLarge wild tea tree in Da Xue ShanLarge wild tea tree in Da Xue ShanLarge wild tea tree in Da Xue ShanSeedling on a wild tea tree Da Xue ShanSeedling on a wild tea tree Da Xue Shan
  • 1.Large wild tea tree in Da Xue Shan
  • 5.Seedling on a wild tea tree Da Xue Shan

When authentic teas wild tea tree have a character quite peculiar:In their first year they show a marked coolness, with typical keys that refer to the flesh or citrus zest, lemon, grapefruit. These are teas that despite a good tannic base appear in their first youth to be particularly sweet. Very aromatic they usually develop a bright bouquet, fruity and spicy where again citrus and lemon dominate keys.

Should we remove the yellow buds sorting teas wild tea tree

Puerh tea plants usually have wild when produced a large proportion of yellow leaves that can sometimes reach 25%. These particularly the eyes jump but also by their number due to the almost black tea leaves of wild, which accentuates the yellow leaves of these.

As is the case of an ordinary puerh (Pu Er tea) priori is removed when sorting such sheets to obtain a refined product. Or if everyone agrees to remove large yellow leaves, leaves badly worked, forms or inelegant aspect, a number of producers by leave against small yellow leaves or buds that come sprinkle elegantly maocha all the small bright, brilliant touches. If supporters of yellow buds argue there a typical, traditional look of wild teas Da Xue Shan other producers do not agree, see these little touches of yellow lack of refinement, and withdraw the sheet or any sort bud to yellow for perfectly uniform and black maocha.

Finally, some also take the character of yellow buds as an excuse to make do with a sort of summary sheets. Then the result is a little refined tea or haggle yellow buds as well as large sheets that would have preferred to retire.

The harvesting of wild tea plants growing naturally in the forest is now controlled, it is now more difficult to find young wild puerh (Pu Er tea) truly from ancient trees. To counter this, various producer in the region have in recent years Cuttings wild puerh (Pu Er tea) in the forest to produce wild tea in their own gardens. For the wild tea tree is primarily a variety of tea, or rather a set of different wild varieties, and teas from these trees share a common ancient flavor character they are young, they naturally driven to the heart of the forest where they have summers recently planted by man. If the range is the same, and has its flavor character, it is noted still differences depending on the age of the tree or the method of cultivation. As for conventional puerh (Pu Er tea) tea bushes former wild generally produce more complexity and depth and a greater potential for maturation.

Young wild tea tree in the garden of Li Wen QuanYoung wild tea tree in the garden of Li Wen QuanYoung wild tea tree in the garden of Li Wen QuanYoung wild tea garden Li Wen Quan
  • 1.Young wild tea tree in the garden of Li Wen Quan
  • 4.Young wild tea garden Li Wen Quan

The tea that we will taste is such a connection between the old wild tea trees of the forest Da Xue Shan, more tannic, and younger and sweet wild tea plants, propagated by cuttings from old tea bushes and a garden from Li Wen Quan, a small producer of Da Hu Sai whom we have already spoken.

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Puerh wild tea tree Da Xue Shan in his youth and has a typical, generally mild and lemony flavor character. But it also has a special potential for maturation. This one and initially marked and faster than a conventional puerh. It also develops unique taste characteristics which over time clearly distinguish these teas from wild trees puerh (Pu Er tea) from ancient tree planting same.

Over the years they may have typical empyreumatiques keys, which may suggest a palace warns not to smoke buttons. While assuming a less lemony freshness of youth, they reveal a more masculine, tannic structure frank, sprinkled as appropriate finer touches, fruity, woody or camphor.

To illustrate this taste the 2006 vintage of the famous wild tea plant puerh (Pu Er tea) Da Xue Shan Shi Rong Mengku produced after only 8 years of dry natural maturation in Kunming in Yunnan.

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As the tasting highlights the tea wild tea tree has a specific maturity, but also faster gustatorily typed that make older vintages of wild tea trees of particular interest. But the result of this maturation is also largely dependent on conditions this one, and makes teas wild tea plants particularly sensitive to the environment of their maturation.

To illustrate this I suggest you taste the 2005 vintage of the cake that we have enjoyed, always stored in a natural way, but this time in a very good stock of Taiwan. And bathed in a substantially wetter than the previous tea you will notice an influence of these conditions on the character of the tea atmosphere.

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There are so many nuances of flavor in teas wild tea plants, especially due to the land of origin of tea but to the many varieties and natural mutations found in the field of wild tea trees, and as we have to see the conditions of maturation. Generally this type of tea when they between 5 and 10 years tend to develop a range of aromas tinged with woody notes maturing fresh camphor, suspicion empyreumatiques and slightly dusty nose sensations.

With a few more years of wild tea puerh (Pu Er tea) then tend to become more pronounced in the woods, with all the wealth that we references to aromas of aged teas. Taste for this great wild tea tree tea, the cake "Da Zhong" produced by CNNP in 2000 in respect of the Communist approach, the origin of leaves is unknown, and these may as well come from Da Xue Shan where wild tea had just been discovered, or other forests of Yunnan.

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wild white buds

Little known, the field of wild teas is actually complex, and found in the hills of Shan Da Xue different species of wild tea plants, which have very different aromatic, and with which teas are made.

Besides the wild tea leaves that we have seen a different variety of wild tea trees found in parts of Da Xue Shan, and is sought for its buds. By far the bulk tea which sprout once a year before the spring are similar to ordinary tea, but the locals know the difference. The leaves of the tea bushes have little interest, and do not produce a high quality tea. By their buds against, in typical form, produced an incredibly fresh tea, refreshing and lemony.

Bud tea savage in the forest of Da Xue ShanBud tea savage in the forest of Da Xue ShanBud wild secBud wild secbud of wild théires a puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> cake
  • 1.Bud tea savage in the forest of Da Xue Shan
  • 3.Bud wild sec
  • 5.bud of wild théires a puerh (Pu Er tea) cake

Easier to gather in the forest that the tea leaves, these wild buds are then allowed to dry and then infused as a white tea. Often poorly dried, then they take a slightly yellow tinge, sometimes with touches of purple here and there. These buds then lose their flexibility and their flavors and their infusion is often disappointing. We often find this type of buds cheap in bulk. Sometimes they are also found in compressed wafer, typical for their side, or mixed with wild true leaves (from other trees) for their specific flavor or tea to produce tea wild cheaper.

But these buds when they come beautiful trees and are carefully dried produce an unsung white tea and high quality, which have the palate of great purity, delicacy, finesse and freshness characteristic lemony!

Drying of wild white budsDrying of wild white budsWild Buds whitewild white buds
  • 1.Drying of wild white buds
  • 3.Wild Buds white
  • 4.wild white buds

This is the case for example of this excellent white tea buds wild, rare, from the height of the valley of Nan Mei. Collected daily by the Lahu on very large old trees that grow wild in altitude heart of the mountain, these buds are transported every night costs to the village of Nan Hua, where they have been thoroughly dried and sorted with great care, producing a wild tea tree tea very subtle and refined.

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Old tea, the refinement from the past

As we have seen are the Blang and their ancestors Pu who probably first inhabited the mountain, and have planted the first trees in teas it there's several hundred years. It there is at least 300 years ago Lahu moved to turn on the sides of Da Xue Shan. They base including the famous villages of Da Xiao Hu and Hu Sai Sai and plant the oldest tea trees still standing today in domesticated Da Xue Shan.

These ancient trees have probably summers obtained by cuttings and selection from trees from the forest of Da Xue Shan. Their variety, the long work breeding work that has forged their size and respectable age gives these old tea aromas of complexity and a highly sought after today special finesse.

Old tea to Xiao Hu SaiOld tea to Xiao Hu SaiOld tea to Xiao Hu SaiOld tea to Xiao Hu SaiOld tea Xiao Sai Hu
  • 1.Old tea to Xiao Hu Sai
  • 5.Old tea Xiao Sai Hu

In these come the tree from the garden Dai Bing Dao, whose origins come from the Xishuangbanna and then diffused on the sides of Da Xue Shan added.

Long leaves of these trees were mixed with those of the younger of the same gardens and trees of the same town, contributing to the richness and diversity of these aromatic teas. With the "discovery" of Gu Shu Cha in the early 2000s, and the current craze pure teas ancient trees, many producers now separate the leaves of ancient trees of others, and are emerging teas exclusively from old trees. These teas, especially expensive when they are developing good character particularly deep end, and a typical distinguishes younger assemblies or tea.

Although they have different characters from one village to another, the old tea Da Xue Shan usually share some sweetness and a particularly fine and subtle character. Their liquor is often characterized by a large Palesse, sometimes to the limit of transparent, rich, complex and very sharp fragrance and sweet flavor, very subtle and long lasting.

A variety of different ages gardens that reflect different phases of development of tea Da Xue Shan

As is often the case, the Da Xue Shan teas are sold by farmers in different fuzzy and related names such as Gu Shu (old trees), Da Shu (large trees), Zhong Shu (medium trees), Xiao Shu (small trees), these terms often mean something quite different depending on the village where the peasants. It is also argued in some villages sometimes ages for trees of a particular gardens, although it is generally quite fanciful and baseless, farmers often have no way to estimate the age of their trees.

Some knowledge of the history of the region, however, can sometimes be used to estimate the age of some gardens, and weigh the diversity of those above. In addition to the wild trees still present in the primary forest of Da Xue Shan, which can exceed 1,000 years, it is among the oldest tea gardens of Da Xue Shan trees probably planted by Blang, then later by the Lahu and Wa, which can exceed 300 years. The oldest around such villages Xiao Hu and Da Hu Sai Sai gardens include many aged 100-300 years old trees.

The surface of these original gardens remains very limited and the majority of "Gu Shu" (old trees) or "Da Shu" (large trees) of the mountain are younger and coincide with the arrival of Han in the region, it there's between 100 and 150 years ago. Da Xue Shan, initially populated by ethnic Blang, Lahu, Wa and Dai, who must be the first tea gardens, saw indeed the arrival of Han at the end of the Qing dynasty. Particularly driven south in the wake of conflict and upheaval in the region of Dali, Han Da Xue Shan arrived at without having to land, and live in first trade, build houses, produce alcohol, soy and other crops then unknown minority of the mountain. But soon the Han Shan Da Xue negotiate plots with native forest, develop agriculture and plant their own gardens makers.

In the 1900s with the gradual assumption of control by the Yunnan Han and the establishment of a new political system empowering them in initially controlled by ethnic leaders zones, the number of tea garden spread rapidly, and the tea market develops. Awareness teas Mengku then leaves the valley. Transported via the route of tea and horses, tea is particularly transported to Da Li (XiaGuan) where it will be assembled and packed before heading to more remote areas like Tibet. Many mature gardens and date from this period, reflecting the beginning of the rise of teas Mengku, whether Han villages in newly built or in Lahu villages whose oldest gardens continue to grow .

The third phase of development of the Da Xue Shan tea time begins in the 50s with the arrival of the communists in power models are swept up, as in the whole of Yunnan former private shops are closing, and area tea undergoes a complete reorganization. Teas Gong Nong by examples before 1950 were sold to Burma, carried by a caravan of more than 50 horses owned by a man named Mr. Huang. Upon arrival of the Communists, Mr. Huang as many owners fled Burma with his wife, his child and twenty horses.

Old tea to Xiao Hu Sai junior trees in Xiao Hu Saijunior Sai Hu Xiao Treesjunior Sai Hu Xiao TreesTree old in the middle of a newer garden
  • 1.Old tea to Xiao Hu Sai
  • 2. junior trees in Xiao Hu Sai
  • 3.junior Sai Hu Xiao Trees
  • 5.Tree old in the middle of a newer garden

In place of the old private tea shops, the Communists to establish a point of purchase Shuangjians tea managed by the state. Four years later, Nong Gong created in a shopping center and processing of the leaves, then the village of Nong Gong is ruled places to demonstrate new farming methods and provide an example of the development of any Menkgu. Around the old tree trunk is cut to facilitate harvesting, and new modern gardens are planted.

This is the case of other major villages of Da Xue Shan as as Da Hu Xiao Hu Sai Sai or. In 1954 a group of the Yunnan branch CNNP thus went to Da Hu Sai to establish the new organization and the development of cultures of teas in the village. A few years later a communist processing plant leaf is created in the village and the technician Fengqing are sent to teach the making of black tea (so much more important in the region than the puerh (Pu Er tea) tea).

The village of Xiao Hu Sai is particularly well these three phases of development. Besides the original gardens planted by minorities and gardens dating from the arrival of Han is a large planted in 1958 by the communists garden. This particularly large garden located between the hamlet of Ze Liang Zhai and Cha Shan He River and extends the Da Xue Shan drill at the foot of the mountain. The trees that make up this garden are organized like the gardens of the 50s Here and there there are some older trees dating from the Ming dynasty Guo, which shows a typical coupe trunk on which the new growth grew .

Here's to illustrate a maocha this garden, worked with a family in the village of Han Xiao Hu Sai.

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Origin and production of tea, a variety of situations and changing

From fresh sheet maocha, various conditions depending on the village and periods

For many years the farmers of the region are used to Mengku venre their fresh leaves, just picked. This is probably attributed to the presence of the plant Shuangjiang Mengku Cha Chang, influential and historic producer Mengku. This is initially a state factory, founded in 1974 and bought in 1999 by Shi Rong when she was bankrupt. The plant, the largest in the region and then buys long the farmers not the maocha transformed but fresh leaves just picked, from almost all the villages Mengku.

Drying of different gardens to plant Rong ShiDrying of different gardens to plant Rong ShiWok for manual labor leaves Mengku Rong ShiPressing patties Mengku Rong Shi
  • 1.Drying of different gardens to plant Rong Shi
  • 3.Wok for manual labor leaves Mengku Rong Shi
  • 4.Pressing patties Mengku Rong Shi

Many farmers have never really worked and leaves, or just to produce a tea table for their own consumption, and it is always merely sell their fresh leaves to whether worked at the plant. Many families also continue to sell their daily freshly harvested leaves Rong Shi, who will then come in different assemblies of the brand based on their character and quality.

With increasing awareness and prices of tea in some villages, many small private workshops have also emerged in recent years Mengku and go, on the model of Shi Rong Mengku buy fresh leaves of different villages Mengku to work evenings in town. These are often young producers, former workers of Rong Shi or from other plants in the region that began on their own and offer their service sourcing, processing sheets, see pressing patties. This is for example the case of Li Cai.

From the village of Banuo on the east side of Mengku, Li Cai began working in a tea factory in the area where she will learn the technique but also rigor. After a few years she will be leaving his job to start his own business and to share his knowledge of the terroirs of Mengku, where it originated, and its competence to produce a maocha quality.

Li Cai and his young sonLi Cai in the tea gardensLi Cai in the tea gardensLi Cai in the tea gardensMaocha spring produced by Li Cai
  • 1.Li Cai and his young son
  • 2.Li Cai in the tea gardens
  • 5.Maocha spring produced by Li Cai

Li Cai route almost daily with his pickup the rocky tracks of Da Xue Shan and Mengku looking for the best tea leaves. Li Cai why not expected that farmers return to the village with their harvest, but it travels the tea gardens to buy locally harvested leaves to penalties or during harvest. Sometimes, when the basket is not full enough, she does not hesitate to help pickers and picking the leaves to save some time and move on to another garden.

But this does not mean to buy anything, and Li Cai is particularly demanding on the quality of fresh leaves it buys. By buying the leaves being harvested is avoided not only that someone else takes it, but it also ensures their origin and quality.

Once the tour ended gardens Cai Li back on the road to the edge of the city Mengku where she established his workshop. That's when she turns the leaves bought in the day Maocha. Again this is above all the quality of work that prevails and Li Cai knows there is no need to acquire at a premium the most prestigious Da Xue Shan sheets if processing is not up to par. Li Cai has recently expanded its activities and set up a small workshop to press directly and request that the maocha products. While these teas in the form of cake, it's crude, original and unique collection, not more elaborate assemblies as proposed by Shi Rong Mengku or other larger producers.

But maocha is not routinely performed in town or in the valley and various maocha Da Xue Shan also occurred in highland village. First, we note the presence of any private workshops, located in some villages and managed by villagers. These, mostly Han, bought fresh from different families in the village leaves to turn them into Macocha and sell them in this form, the village or town.

A Da Hu Sai eg family Li Wen Quan we talked previously bought for years, well before prices teas Mengku fly, leaves a handful of families in the village and produces three daily maocha types, depending on the nature and size of trees.

Fresh leaves in Li Wen QuanTransformation of leaves in Li Wen QuanTransformation of leaves in Li Wen QuanTransformation of leaves in Li Wen QuanLi Wen Quan in his studio
  • 1.Fresh leaves in Li Wen Quan
  • 2.Transformation of leaves in Li Wen Quan
  • 5.Li Wen Quan in his studio

Every day in the late afternoon the villagers arrive at Li Wen Quan with their baskets of fresh leaves harvested in the day. After a rest leaves it will cause them to lose some of the water they contain and inhibit enzymes that would cause unwanted oxidation. Then the leaves are rolled before letting them dry on mats of woven bamboo. In the spring of this transformation leaves the family occupies Li Wen Quan late into the night, and it is common that the day will finish after four in the morning, despite the use of mechanized tools.

These historically oldest workshops, such as Li Wen Quan, are often based on quality criteria from a time when tea Mengku was cheap, and if they sometimes offer quality teas, they often have a technical as fine as new to the city of Mengku. From the village, they have a better against trusting relationships with the villagers, often better expertise of the soils and gardens and can sometimes have access to better sheets.

Rising prices and the reputation of some villages also encourages more and more farmers to work themselves their leaves and produce their own maocha. This is the case of Bing Dao where skyrocketing prices of tea (now in 2014 almost 2,000 euros per kg of crude maocha) has long encouraged the farmers to get to work on the farm leaves and produce them even their teas. And every spring they are motorcades, from across Yunnan, but also northern e china and abroad who flock to Bing Dao to buy and leave with these maocha ready to drink or to be compressed .

It has emerged in recent years around Bing Dao many small personal workshops, a surprisingly modern for the area and that are more reminiscent of what one meets in Taiwan that what was the used to seeing in the villages of Yunnan. If the materials used are very contemporary, work is however generally done by hand, fans of high-end teas such as Bing Dao preferring a completely handmade product.

Mechanical Transformation leaves the village of Dao BingMechanical Transformation leaves the village of Dao Bingmanual processing leaves the village of Dao BingManual Processing leaves Bing Dao village manual processing leaves the village of Dao Bing
  • 1.Mechanical Transformation leaves the village of Dao Bing
  • 3.manual processing leaves the village of Dao Bing
  • 4.Manual Processing leaves Bing Dao village
  • 5. manual processing leaves the village of Dao Bing

Following the example of Bing Dao, other famous villages of Da Xue Shan have also recently put in production maocha home. This is for example the case of Lahu villages Xiao Hu Sai where many families have fitted the last two years and are starting to produce their own maocha, usually in conjunction with the sale of fresh leaves. Having no experience in the work sheets, these families usually opted for mechanical work, easier to control. Taking advantage of the rising prices of their villages, they sometimes invests in the latest machinery and screams high end, we see only rarely in Yunnan, to produce teas live up to the reputation of their land, sometimes with results largely match their investment.

Chargement du thé...

From maocha the cake, teas of different nature

Since ancient times minorities Da Xue Shan villages transform the tea leaves to make the maocha and directly consume these teas, tea briefly worked, often unintentionally smoked by the atmosphere of the farm, and that the is roasted before drinking. The finest teas for their part still outside the villages summers finalized by experienced producers.

Already there are 100 years ago different producers in the region and elsewhere went to Mengku to buy the finest leaves, which ended meetings with other teas in their cakes, bricks and tuos. Especially since we had to buy XiaGuan leaves Da Xue Shan, especially teas Da Sai Hu, dark shiny leaves and is known in the region "large black sheets" which were already very popular.

Transformation summary sheets in a mountain farmleaves drying in the sun in a recullé Da Xue Shan villageOn the road to Da Xue Shan tea to XiaGuanMoving on Da Xue Shan tea to XiaGuan
  • 1.Transformation summary sheets in a mountain farm
  • 2.leaves drying in the sun in a recullé Da Xue Shan village
  • 3.On the road to Da Xue Shan tea to XiaGuan
  • 4.Moving on Da Xue Shan tea to XiaGuan

Teas Da Xue Shan and went loose, along the route of tea and horses, to Da Li (XiaGuan) and other regions of Yunnan, where they were gathered, compressed, before heading to distant lands as Tibet or northern China according to their quality.

With the communist takeover in 1949 the tea market finds nationalized and streamlined. We see Mengku tea as a potential and the tea market is highly developed. While that new tea gardens are planted, the workshop Shuangjiang created fresh leaves for work in the region and produce tea under the label CNNP state. In keeping with the communist tradition sheets of different gardens, grades and villages were assembled in puerh (Pu Er tea) tea cake which part vennait including Shan Da Xue.

To illustrate this I suggest you try one of the latest wafers outputs Shuangjiang Mengku Cha Chang CNNP under the label in 2001, may from time after buying Shuangjiang Cha Chang Rong Shi.

Chargement du thé...

In 1996-1997 the tea sector, public service for over 40 years, suddenly opens, and a multitude of new private producers see the day. While in bankruptcy, the plant status Shuangjiang Cha Chang Shi Rong was acquired by and became Shuangjiang Mengku Shi Rong. Although become private, Rong Shi retains the general approach of the plant, including the daily work and handmade fresh to the whole valley Mengku but also the industrial culture of the assembly leaves. Patties Mengku Rong Shi and not just a garden or a particular village, as we see more and more often on the market, but are the result of specific assemblies of various teas Mengku.

After a few years of transition, Rong Shi creates its own assemblies Mengku, including in 2005 when several large slabs of the producer, now classics like Cha Ye Sheng (wild) but especially the Mu Shu Cha appears. Known to be mainly based on an assembly of Da Xue Shan, this tea which we have already spoken references to the first tea plants in the region. It was at this cake that is attributed awareness Da Xue Shan and especially Bing Dao from 2006 2005 and 2006 vintages are particularly sought after and since amateurs, and when they are authentic and from storage quality are very large Mengku teas.

Chargement du thé...

Following the success of the Mu Shu Cha, and especially the price spike that followed Bing Dao, Shi Rong Mengku, like many big producer has stopped giving geographical indication of the origin teas that make up his assemblages. Among the above production range Recently, some teas such as "100%" 2013 Release however have characteristics greatly teas for recalling Da Xue Shan, such as those produced for example Hu Xiao Sai.

Chargement du thé...

While some teas Rong Shi like this 100% can recall the Da Xue Shan terroirs, they are nevertheless assemblies, and their leaves are from different gardens, villages and/or crops, chosen for their own characters.

With the growing awareness of some villages, like Bing or Dao Xiao Hu Sai appears a growing demand for high teas precise origins, reflecting the eyes of consumers the quality and reputation of these villages. This type of original tea and single harvest was particularly highlighted by a new generation of producers emerged since the late 90s Having no culture of the assembly of the communist era, nor the constraints stability of blockbusters, these new producers usually just select maocha of a particular family or village, to sort and squeeze pancake.

If mixture leaves it there ', it then has the sole aim to standardize production (all cakes have the same taste), not like in a real assembly sculpting flavor character of the tea. In spring two distinct cultures, and an older model inherited from the Communist see private producers who have gone before, and of assembling various raw materials to create balance. The other approach, more recent work favors a less material will focus on the typicality of a region or a particular garden, even losing balance.

In both cases, reflecting divergent approaches, there are real producers who own their own puerh (Pu Er tea) workshop or factory, and assure themselves the various stages of production, refinement and compression of puerh (Pu Er tea) tea, and this in from crude maocha, or more rarely of fresh leaves.

Besides these producers seen in recent years show a trend to negative consequences, which is for sellers to puerh (Pu Er tea) tea to go directly to producers villages to buy and maocha to press their own patties.

Initially these shops and tea room, it is located in Kunming, Guangzhou, China or abroad, were supplied from producers up in Yunnan, whether large or small producers renowned local producers or directly from the workshops is through the network of wholesale distribution (wholesalers, tea market, etc). Attracted more profit and less tracking, a growing number of boutique now go directly to the villages to source crude maocha from farmers, they will then press and pack for them in any plant.

The challenge for the seller is clear:bypassing the tea up market by way of a number of intermediate steps but also production (various mechanical and manual sorting leaves, standardization of production potential assembly, quality control, laboratories, etc) the seller hopes to get a better purchase price and increase its profits. But this is unfortunately not without consequences for both individual players puerh (Pu Er tea) tea to the consumer and resulted in a few years a sharp rise in prices of land recognized, accompanied by an overall decline in the quality of tea market .

For incumbent producers in Yunnan initially is naturally a blow that threatens the distribution of their teas to the public and by their very existence. This is particularly the case for small producers who strongly investits in human and material means (workshops, factories, licenses, equipment) and are affected by this unfair competition forehead, sometimes from their own customers.

The consumer then deplore first places a drop in overall quality teas available. For if the tea producer result of genuine expertise, choice assumed, an acquaintance of both soils and technology, all backed by a local presence and a real unit productions, teas Sellers often reflect poor knowledge of soils and production, the lack of local presence or genuine followed and often boil down to squeeze a raw material straight from the bag of peasants.

No less worrying that rush of vendors to town in fashion such as Bing or Dao Xiao Hu Sai where they are now uninterrupted Car processions that come every day to fill the village, brought in just two years a price boom land area, and many see it as a major cause of the new price spike puerh (Pu Er tea) tea since 2013.

Former producers Mengku or stakeholders in the tea market in the region do not in fact aimed immediate profit but primarily the stability of the sector in which they lived. Working directly between farmers and external buyers they were the guarantors of a certain price stability of the raw material. By cons with the influx in villages with a cloud of trader who came from all china and elsewhere, usually in search of relatively small amount of tea for which they are willing to pay full price, the price the raw material has skyrocketed to double in many villages.

The amateur can of course hope that the next and inevitable fall of the market furnish some order in the fragile and unstable sector puerh (Pu Er tea) tea, as was the case in 2008.

Photos and texts Copyright Olivier Schneider - 2014

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