Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kun Lu Shan Mountain- The Royal Tea Garden During The Qing Dynasty

Kun Lu Shan ( Kun Lu Shan Mountain, Shan literally mean mountain in Chinese), a part of the extension of Wuliangshan Mountains, ministratively belonging to Kuanhong village, Lin'er township, Lin'er Hanni and Yizhu autonomous county, Pu'erh city, Yunnan province, lies 31 kilometers to the north of the urban area of Pu'erh county. At an elevation between 1410 and 2271 meters above sea level, the main body of Kun Lu Shan Mountain extends for more than 10 kilometers from the north to the south and several kilometers from the east to the west. Kun Lu Shan Mountain covered with thick trees has nice scenery. The ancient tea gardens are mainly located at the two villages: Fengyang village and Baxiang village. There is an area of 10122 mu (about 675 hectares) in total, among which 1939 mu (129 hectares) categorized as semi cultivated type exist in the primeval forest of Kuanhong village, Lin'er township. 

It is recorded that the Kun Lu Shan tea garden was set as royal tea garden in the  7th Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (A.D.1729). During the spring harvesting time every year, the imperial court would send troops to guard the gates and supervise the harvesting and production all the time. It was said that the production was extremely sophisticated, requiring more than 72 production steps and taking more than 36 days to complete a batch of pu erh tea. The locals would only be allowed to make teas for their own consumption or sale when the tea made for royal families was done and shipped. All such activities were kept secret, so we are unable to know exactly how such teas were made today.

Kun Lu Shan boasting about its more than 10000 mu ancient tea garden and believed to be one of the royal tea gardens during the Qing Dynasty is now praised as"the museum of tea tree". The recorded NO 3 ancient tea tree growing here, about 25 meters in height and 2.53 meters in diameter is the biggest human cultivated tea tree ever found. 

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