Highlights: Pu’er Tea is a kind of dark tea found only in China’s Yunnan Province. It’s originally produced in the “Six Famous Mountains” in Xishuangbanna and gets its name from Pu’er, a town where most of the tea is processed and sold. Pu’er Tea has a long history. Early in the Tang Dynasty, tea trade between Pu’er and other areas already began.\
|Activities||Arrive in Puer|
Situated in the northwest of Yunnan Province, Puer has an important location in China’s southwestern boundary, neighboring Laos, Vietnam and Burma and sharing a 486 kilometers (302 miles) boundary line with these three countries. Kunming is about 550 kilometers (342 miles).
There are many ethnic minorities living here, such as Lahu, Hani, Wa and Yi. Varied customs make it a colorful city. Eating habits, ceremonies, costumes and folk legends can all be a strong attraction for people who are visiting. In addition, the city is the hometown of the well known Puer Tea, and the local people have diversified ways of handling tea, such as bamboo tube tea, cold tea dish, earth-pot tea and baked tea; all of which you should try.
In the morning, drive up to Puer Tea Gardens, overlooking Puer City (map). Explore the Chinese Tea Institute and their library of dried tea leaves.
Visit China Puer Tea Exhibition Garden. Tea culture is an attractive tourist factor of the city. The exhibition garden is built on the Yingpan Mountain, 29 kilometers (18 miles) from the downtown area. Against the background of a vast tea garden, it is made up of Puer Tea Museum, Tea making workshop, tea-picking zone, tea appraisal garden and some other facilities which comprehensively show the history of Puer Tea, and of how to plant and produce as well.
The Tea Expo Garden in Simao brings the world of Pu’er tea to life. You can spend a whole day at the Garden, learn how to pick tea leaves – in the old days you had to be a maiden and get to the plantation before sunrise – process it by hand, make different shapes of Pu’er teas, such as cakes, bricks or loose-leaf, and finally engrave a tea pack with your own name or the name of the person you want to gift it to. The process of tea production has turned the garden into a giant tea amusement park.
Visit Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden. Take the bus along a winding road through a tropical rain forest and stopped briefly at a rubber tree orchard on the way to Yiwu. Then took a bumpy dirt road to see an 800yr old tea tree overlooking a gorgeous lush valley. On the way back we walked along the Tea Horse Trail which begins in Yiwu village and goes all the way to Tibet.
Next stop was He Tian Neng’s old tea workshop where you can drank tea and saw the stone blocks used to press tea cakes. At the workshop, watched workers made puer tea cakes by hand using the following method:
Full tea leaves and buds (2 leaves to 1 bud) are picked and collected in baskets.
The leaves are spread out on woven trays and dried in the sun for several hours.
Once dried the leaves are steamed under low heat for about 30 seconds to bring the moisture back and make the leaves pliable.
The moist leaves are wrapped in a cloth and pressed by hand into a disc shape.
A heavy stone press is then placed on top of the tea cake and a worker stands on top of this press, rotating his wade in a circular motion for about a minute.
In about 10 minutes the stone press is removed and the cloth covered cake is moved to a shelf for drying.
After 6hrs or so the cloth is removed from the tea cake and it may be wrapped in tea paper.
Puer tea cakes may be used to make tea immediately, however because the leaves have not been cooked they will continue to oxidize over time and will mature into a deep rich flavor in 5-10 years.
Yiwu is one of the 6 famous puer tea mountains and home to a puer tea museum which we visited along with the start of the Tea Horse Trail. In the evening we hung out in the small Yiwu Village, had tea and beer in front a shop and fired off roman candles in the street.
Today, get the chance to make your own Puer tea cakes at a small Cha Ma Shi factory in Youle, another of the 6 famous Puer tea mountains.
From this small tea factory, travel DaDuGang, the owner of the largest tea plantation in Asia. Terraced fields of 30yr old tea bushes could be seen in all directions and the view was breathtaking. The DaDuGang factory was filled with massive processing equipment, primarily for green though they make 107 different varieties, which had a very industrial feeling to it.
After dinner, drive to Jinghong City.
Drive from Jinghong to Menghai (50km), pay visit to Menghai Tea Factory. The factory is well known for its old raw pu-erh cakes and is highly reputed in the tea industry of China. Further transfer into the old Aini village near Nannuoshan, visit Aini people’s market selling pu’er tea, local vegetables, friuts and hand-made crafts.Then 20 minutes driving to the Aini vellage where we start to walk or start walk up from the foot of the mountain. 2 hours walking on a jungle path to see the old Pu er tea tree plantation in forest and a huge bush tea plantation. All the tea trees are between 300 and 800 years old. At noon, drink local tea and have packed lunch at a place with nice view . If you like the tea, you can also buy some from local people for the best price and have a nice Puer tea ceremony at home of local. The whole experience lasts 4 to 5 hours.
|Activities||Departure from JInghong|
Departure from JInghong.
No 103, Yabaoli, Chaoyang Distirct, Beijing, China
Mon - Sun 9.00 - 20.00