Yunnan (雲南) is one of the most famous regions of China producing tea for nearly two thousand years. It is located in the southern part of this country. This is where you can find the oldest Chinese tea tree. It is 1700 years old. This tree has been the main source of Yunnan tea for the last eight centuries. It is still growing on Mount Nannou in Menghai County (勐海县). Along with other, a bit younger 1000 years old trees it creates the "Kingdom of the Three Oldest Trees". They are called "living fossils" of the primary tea plants of the Yunnan province.
According to historical records, the ethnic people of Pu started to cultivate tea and the tea itself served its discoverers as a gift, made in honor of the Shang and Zhou dynasts. It was not until the reign of the Yunnan family that tea became the most important commodity, the sale of which was carried out by ethnic peoples. However, the Yunnan tea became the most significant during 1926-1936, during the outbreak of the War Against Japan. During this period, Yunnan tea has made the best production and sales result in history. In total, 5000 tons of tea per year were sold to Tibet and Sichuan, while nearly 500 tons were exported to other countries.
Nowadays Yunnan tea is a treasure and is a significant branch of China's tea industry. All production regions are located from 1200 to 2000 meters above sea level. Climatic conditions play a huge role in cultivation. From May until October, the monsoon season continues in the hills, during which heavy rainfall occurs. During the dry season between November and April the sun shines. It is then that tea trees go through a long period of proliferation. The areas where the tea leaves grow are covered with red, yellow or brick soil that ensures the proper pH level.
Currently, the Yunnan province has as many as 199 species of local tea trees. It is one of the most noble tea brands in the world. The tea is valued for its unique, exceptional malt extract and a distinctive pepper flavor. Like every, luxury goods it is not cheap. This is mainly because of the fact that in many places its leaves are still cultivated and harvested by hand. It is worth mentioning that the Yunnan region, although undoubtedly being a precursor in the production of this type of tea, is not the only place on earth in which it occurs. Its leaves also grow in Africa, South America and Australia. However, the Chinese Yunnan province is the most famous region.
Yunnan tea appears on the market most often in the form of a round disk, but you can also find it in its loose form. There are many types of this tea. Each of them is characterized by a light color of the infusion and a strong aroma. In addition, most often it is classified according to its color and smell. For example, Green Touch has a greenish-yellow shade and slightly smoky flavor. Yunnan Pure Gold (金 芽 滇紅) is one of the first black teas, its color is much darker. However, this is an illusion. When we look at it from a distance, we can see a beautiful orange-gold color. Its fragrance is delicate, subtle with a slight note of sweetness. Yunnan Pu-erh, on the other hand, has a brown-red color with a characteristic taste, often compared to the smell of the earth. Yunnan Gold ((滇紅 工夫茶) with cherry color is also very popular. In recent years, fragrant teas have also been very popular, such as Yunnan Jasmine, enriched with a beautiful, sweet fragrance of jasmine or Yunnan White Orchid, containing the wonderful aroma of orchid.
Some of the Yunnan teas, such as Pu-erh Toucha, also have valuable medicinal properties. It is called a slimming tea, a tea of beauty and health. Consumed in appropriate quantities, it supports the process of burning fat, cleanses the body of toxins, relieves symptoms of stress. Moreover, Yunnan tea regulates cholesterol and stimulates metabolism. It possesses antimicrobial properties, prevents cancer and so often inflicted in our times - heart attacks.
Yunnan tea should be brewed for about 3-5 minutes. This time should not be exceeded, because the tea can become bitter. The leaves should be flooded with water at a temperature of about 95 Celsius degrees. Such brewing will guarantee a unique, intense aroma and even nicer taste experiences.