Sunday, September 21, 2014

White Tea and the legend of Taolaoshan Mountain

Tailaoshan Mountain located in Fuding, Fujian province is a place famous for its scenery or historical relics. An ancient Chinese legend told during the time of Xuanyuan and Huangdi Emperors' reign, a celestial being of Taoists named as Rong Chengzi used to inhabit here and during the time of Yao Emperor‘s reign , there was a young girl who spent all day growing orchid and tea trees here and  teach local people how to make "White Tea". The White Tea she made was so delicious, fragrant and amazing that people who drank it all the time finally became celestial beings. The young girl lived so long time, becoming to be mother, grandmother and grand-grand-mother, before she grew out wings and became to be a goddess. The local people respected her very much and called her "Taimu"(meaning grand-grand-mother) and called the mountain she lived as "Taimushan Mountain". According to the record of  "Pan Tao Ji", a book written by Wang Lie in Han Dynasty, Emperor Han Wudi once ordered Dong Fangsuo, a his confidential secretary to visit all the famous mountain in the world. Dong Fangsuo thought among all the famous mountains he visited, Taimushan Mountain is rich in distinctive nimbus and beauty so he called it "the First Mountain of the World" and replace "Mu"(meaning mother) with "Lao"(meaning grandmother) to show respect for the past person. It is common that "famous mountain produce famous teas". Tailaoshan Mountain is the same. The Fuding area of Fujian Province where Tailaoshan Mountain is located is well known as "the hometown of Chinese White Tea" now. WhiteTea was initially brought into being here and now still mainly produced in Fuding area.
In 1796(the first year of the reign of Qing Emperor Jiangqing, the tea businessmen of Fuding realized the potential business opportunity of White Tea so they learned the skills of making white tea from the people of Tailaoshan Mountain and succeeded in making "native needle" with the local tea cultivar called "Caicha". It was seen by Chinese tea industry as the sign of the birth of modern White Tea. In 1857(the 6th year of the reign of Qing Emperor Xianfeng), a dutiful son thought to be given direction from Tailao (The Goddess of the Tailaoshan Mountain) found a tea seedling neighboring to an ancient tea tree called Lu Yueya(literally Green Snow Bud) around the Hongxue cave of Tailaoshan Mountain and he uprooted and replanted the tea seedling in the area outside Tailaoshan Mountain. Tea makers of Fuding successfully  made Baihao Silver Needle White tea with buds harvested from the tea trees cultivated from the tea seedling. Now, the Lu Xueya tea seedling seen as a fine breed and named as "Fuding Dabaicha Cultivar" has been now propagated by stem cuttings in more than 10 provinces of China since 1960s.
The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain

The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain

The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain

The Goddess of Tailaoshan Mountain

The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain

The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain
The Scenery of Tailaoshan Mountain



1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story, thank you....nothing finer...Orchids & Tea!

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