Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday's black tea -- Ancient Forest

Ancient Forest

Origin: China

Description: Yunnan black tea that is a specialty of Southwest Yunnan with a unique history from ancient protected tea trees in China’s protected Blue Mountains of Jingmai Mangjing. This tea is handpicked and handsorted. It brews a rich golden-sunrise colored infusion with a creamy texture and notes of honey and amber. Organic & fair trade. 212°F 1 level teaspoon tea per 8 ounces water; steep for 3-5 minutes.

The Jingmai Mangjing Ancient Tea Forest is situated in the highlands of Yunnan's Lancang River Basin. This region is considered a heritage center for tea and is home to some of the oldest tea trees and tea cultures in the world. This area of Yunnan is famous for its arbor tea tree varietals that make this origin's tea so unique.

The settlements of Jingmai Mangjing consist of various mountainside villages. All the villages within Jingmai Mangjing have ancient tea trees. Jingmai is a group of villages inhabited predominantly by the Dai people and Mangjing is a group of villages inhabited mainly the Bulang people. Each family in the Jingmai Mangjing area relies on the sale of tealeaves for the majority of their annual income.

This ancient tea forest is home to many varieties of bamboo, trees, medicinal and culinary herbs, edible fungus and wild vegetables. The local people have no use for synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or large scale clear cutting to pursue their traditional agriculture. Many of the local foods and herbal medicines used by the villagers are not cultivated but wild harvested in the mountains of their ancient tea tree forest.

The villagers of Jingmai Mangjing's social, religious and economic history are intertwined with the ancient tea forest. The local people of Jingmai Mangjing are descendants of the "Pu" ethnic group, who are known as the earliest tea planters (1066 BC-221BC).
Bulang cultural and religious adherence forbids the destruction of their ancient tea trees. Ancient Bulang proverbs urge their people to conserve the forest and protect the tea trees for future generations.
Bulang Ancient Tea Proverb:
•If we leave the gold you will spend it...
•If we leave the ox it may die...
•We must leave the tea trees so they can grow and provide...
•You should not let others take the tea trees...
•You should protect the tea trees like you do your life and never let them out of your control.

Unlike modern tea farms, Jingmai Mangjing was established by ancient tea planters more than 1300 years ago and is considered an "Antique Tea Garden." Many of Jingmai Mangjing's tea trees range from 800 to 1200 years old, with the eldest tea trees exceeding 1300 years. Over the course of many centuries, the Jingmai Mangjing villagers have nurtured one of the largest areas of antique (100+ years old) and old tea trees (30+ years old).

1 comment:

Feel free to comment