Sunday, March 8, 2015

What Is Special About Man Zhuan Shan Pu Erh?

Man Zhuan Shan Mountain is one of the historical “Six Tea Mountains” – these are the original ones that are located north of Lancang River in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, China. This mountain and its five companions (You Le, Ge Deng, Yi Bang, Mang Zhi, and Man Sa) were key areas for growing tea since the mid-1700s. Now Man Zhuan Shan Mountain ministratively belongs to Manzhuan, Manlin two villages, Xiangming township, Mengla county, Yunnan province. The area has perfect natural environment for growing leaves necessary to make good pu-erh. (Over time as populations shifted and the market for Pu Erh teas changed, tea growing and production shifted to another six tea mountains south of Lancang River: Nannuo, Menghai, Bada, and Nanqiao near Menghai town, Jingmai in Hui Min County, and Mengsong.) Man Zhuan Mountain is beside Ye Xiang Mountain and the Mo Zhe River. At its peak, the mountain produced more than  500 metric tons of tea per year.

Now it is estimated that there is still about 2930 Mu (195 hectares) ancient tea gardens existing in Man Zhuan Shan Mountain. Ancient tea trees are mostly scattered among thick forests with different cultivars mixed  at an elevation between 565 and 1540 meters above sea level. Yunnan Large Leaf Camellia sinensis var assamica dominats here  while about 25% tea trees are categorized as small leaf cultivars which is called by locals as "Liu Ye Cha"(willow leaf tea).

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