The brief history of tea

Tea is called “the mystical foliage from the East”. Scholars believe the south-western China Yunnan is the birthplace of tea. This is confirmed by the fact that the oldest wild tea trees are found scattered across geographic Yunnan region.

The No.1 wild tea tree is located in the virgin forest of Qianjiazhai, Ailao Mountain Nature Reserve, Yunnan Province (24° 7' N, 101° 14' E, 2100-2500 meters altitude). This ancient plant has been growing to a height of 25.6 meters (84 feet). Experts estimate it is about 2700 years old. So ancient that it has great reference value for studying the source and survival mode of tea trees.

Ailao Mountain is a subtropical moist broad-leaved forest. Qianjiazhai wild tea tree community is a plant community with tea tree as the dominant species. There are related plants inherited and evolved from the Tertiary period, such as Magnoliaceae, Fagaceae, Camellia and other plant groups.

This ancient tea forest was found in 1970s when the local government organized a feasibility study on building a reservoir in Qianjiazhai. Nevertheless, this No.1 tea tree was not found until 1991. In October 2001, it was adopted by a tea company. Ever since then it has been protected by metal fence, and guarded by designated personnel.

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