Puer Tea Grow Areas
Puer Tea Growing Regions
Xiaguan tea-growing region
This tea growing region includes Simao, Baoshan, and northern Lincang areas that covered Mengku, Changning, Yunxian, Jingdon, Jinggu, Mejiang, Zhenyuan, and other places. High altitude and high temperature with less rainfall, tea grown with fresh spring water tends to be of more fragrance, slightly bitter, yet with faintly acidic flavor.
Menghai tea-growing region
Menghai tea-growing region covers Xishuangbanna area, south of Lancang River (the name changed to Mekong River in Vietnam), including Jinghong, Bada, Bulang, Banzhang, Nannuo, Menglong, Mengsong, and Mengzhe areas. Lower altitude, but higher temperature with more rainfall, tea in this region features strong aroma, higher bitterness, and great fragrance.
Six Famous Tea Mountains
Throughout Yunnan's tea producing history there have been references to six famous mountains renowned for producing the best tea in the region. Historically, the Six Famous Tea Mountains were located north of the Lincang River and were named after six items left behind by Zhugeliang, then Prime Minister of Shu in the Three Kingdoms period. According to legend, Zhegeliang taught the people of southern Yunnan the art of harvesting and making tea. The names of these historic mountains were Youle (copper gong), Mangzhi (copper boa), Manzhuan (iron brick), Yi Bang (wooden clapper), Gedeng (leather stirrup), and Mansa (seed-sowing bag).
For various reasons, the names and locations of these six mountains shifted gradually through time. Perhaps the same name was used by different groups for different mountains. Some confusion may have resulted from the fact that the names recorded were Chinese translations or phonetic approximations of native languages used in the area.
We do know that of the mountains considered to be the famous Six by the mid-twentieth century, many had fallen into extreme disrepair due to large fires, over-picking, or neglect. As a result, in 1962 a new group of Famous Six Tea Mountains were named based on the best tea producing mountains at the time - Yiwu, Jingmai, Menghai, Nannuo, Bulang, and Youle. All of these mountains had been famous for many years, one of which, Youle, was a member of the original Six.
Throughout the years, another Famous Six were designated from south of the Lincang River and include some of the mountains from the 1962 list. These are Mengsong, Nannuo, Menghai, Bada, Nanqiao, and Jingmai.
Of course, southern Yunnan is full of tea and mountains and there are several others that, though not included in the Six, are renowned in and of themselves for their tea forests. Banzhang, Bangwei, and Ailao are three such mountains whose teas are as distinct and flavorful as any of the Six, yet are not as well known.