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Exploring China Tea: The Yunnan Province

Exploring China Tea: The Yunnan Province

The Chinese Middle Empire is considered to be the home of tea and more specifically; Yunnan Province, being its birthplace.

Yunnan Province produces black, green and white teas as well as the difficult-to-define Pu-erh Teas.

Yunnan Province, situated in South-West China has produced green teas for over 1700 years, with black tea production following in their wake in only 1939.

Due to its geographical location and climatic conditions, black teas from Yunnan can be compared to the teas of Assam.

They have medium strength, are fairly spicy and have a good rich colour. Some people say that they are the only Chinese black teas that can take milk and sugar. This all makes them beloved and much prized by the English once they get to know them.

Yunnan's green teas come from the mountainous south, where mostly rainy and foggy conditions support the growth of very aromatic and fine teas, which have more body than other green teas from other parts of the country.

Yunnan Pu-erh teas are in a category of their own. They are teas where the leaves are rehydrated after fermentation to allow the second fermentation. They are called post-fermentation teas.

After production, these teas are stored in cold cellars or even buried in the ground for at least one year. The process helps the leaf develop a strong, spicy and earthy taste depending on the storage time and the length of the brew. Old teas are much valued and can attain high prices, very much like vintage wine.

Soon, we will stock Yunnan white teas, two great examples have been bought and will appear on the list in June 2017! Watch this space.