What makes Yunnan tea so special?

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Yunnan is the origin of tea trees in the world, its superior natural geographical environment is very suitable for the growth of tea trees and is also a gathering place for good tea.

Yunnan tea garden
Yunnan tea garden

China is the hometown of tea, and Yunnan is the origin and birthplace of tea trees in the world, where the fertile land produces naturally high-quality tea trees. Wild ancient tea trees with a history of more than 2700 years still grow in Yunnan today, where you can truly feel ancient Chinese tea culture.


What are the ancient tee trees?

Yunnan is the most widely preserved area of ​​ancient tea forests and the largest number of ancient tea trees and wild tea trees in China, and the world.

Tea trees over 100 years old can be categorised as ancient trees. Therefore, tea trees that have grown for more than 100 years are ancient tea trees, and tea made from their leaves is ancient tea tree tea.


Ancient Tea Tree
ancient tea tree

According to historical records, Yunnan has been transferred from wild tea to home-grown tea for 2100 years. At present, Yunnan is the most widely preserved area of ​​ancient tea forests and the largest number of ancient tea trees and wild tea trees in China, and the world.


Most of them are distributed in the Yunnan Nature Reserve or other natural forests. Those surviving tea trees are strong evidence of Yunnan's long history of tea development. Walking on the red clay plateau in Yunnan, you can find ancient tea trees everywhere and smell the aroma of freshly brewed tea. In the areas where Pu'er tea is produced, like Pu’er, Xishuangbanna, and Lincang, wild-type, transitional, cultivated ancient tea trees and ancient tea gardens are gathered.


Jingmai Tea Mountain in Pu'er, Yunnan, China
Jingmai Tea Mountain in Pu'er, Yunbab, China

Yunnan’s ancient tea gardens, ancient tea trees, and wild tea tree communities are not only a historical witness or living fossil, instead, it also sets in stone Yunnan as the birthplace of tea trees and large-scale cultivation and production of tea, making it an important contribution of Chinese and world tea culture.


The oldest tea tree in the world

Jinxiu Village in Fengqing County has an ancient tea tree with a history of more than 3200 years.

Jinxiu Village in Fengqing County has an ancient tea tree with a history of more than 3200 years. This is the thickest ancient tea tree found in the world and the oldest cultivated tea tree on earth.


This ancient tea tree grows at an altitude of 2,245 metres, with a root circumference of 5.8 metres, a tree height of 10.6 metres, and a trunk diameter of 1.84 metres.


The 499-gram tea cake made from the leaves of this ancient tea tree was sold at a sky-high price of 400,000 Yuan (around 26.7K GBP) at a starting price of 250,000 Yuan (around 16.4K GBP) at the Pu'er Tea Culture Expo in 2007. The price was more than 800 yuan (around 52.6 GBP) per gram, which was close to four times the gold price. Setting a record for the new tea auction at that time.

Blessed natural environment

Yunnan has a unique natural geographical environment, which is suitable for the growth of tea trees. Yunnan Province is located on a high plateau, but the altitude is low, the climate is warm and humid, and the rainfall is abundant.


Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yunnan, China
cultural landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yunnan, China