Six Famous Tea Mountains

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A legend says that Zhu Geliang, also called Kongming, came to the area in Yunnan of the six great mountains. He left one gift on each mountain, with each gift giving a mountain’s tea special distinction. The mountains became known as the Ancient Six Tea Mountains. Following are the characteristics of the tea from each the six mountains:

Youle Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, non-distinctive aroma, light orange color.

Mangzhi Mountain: Small-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, light aroma, deep orange liquor color.

Mangzhuan Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, plum smell, dark yellow color.

Yibang Mountain: Small-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, orchid aroma, dark orange color.

Gedeng Mountain: Small-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, fresh smell, dark orange color

Mansa Mountain (Yiwu Mountain): Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste, strong honey plum and orchid aroma

Eventually, tea production volume fell off from the six major mountains. The tea center of gravity moved to the other side of the Lancangjiang River, also called the Mekong River. Six new tea mountains were named in modern times:

Nanluo Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste with under taste that’s sweet, honey and orchid smell, clear orange color; the tea picked around Qingming smells like a lily flower

Bulang Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, aroma like plum incense, flower honey incense, and orchid incense, clear orange color

Bada Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, plum fragrance and honey aroma, clear, transparent orange color, shining dark green leaves; among the hundreds of old wild trees is one in Hesong village that is 1,800 years old

Nanqiao Mountain: Middle-leafed trees, mostly bushes, slightly sweet taste, moderate aroma, dark orange color

Mengsong Mountain: Medium-leafed trees, mostly shrubs, bitter taste with slightly sweet after taste, dark yellow color, very dark green leaves

Huiming Jingmai Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter and strong taste with a sweet after taste; largest concentration of wild tea trees among the 12 mountains


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