The Chinese Tea Producing Regions
Where we source our teas
Anhui is an inland province in China situated in the Southeast. It stretches over the Yangtze River and Huai River. It has a population of over 59 million. The natural resources of Anhui are iron from Ma’anshan, coal from Huainan and copper in Tongling. Wheat, rice and sweet potatoes are also widely produced in Anhui. Anhui is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery including Mount Huangshan, Mount Jiuhua which is one of the four famous Buddhist Mountains in China and Mount Tian Zhu. All of these are well known scenic spots in Anhiu.
We have sourced our Mao Feng tea from the Huangshan Mountain region of Anhui. This mountainous area is famous for its pine tress, picturesque sunsets and views of the clouds. The three best known peaks in this area are; Lotus Peak (Lian Hua Feng, 1,864m), Bright Summit Peak (Guang Ming Ding, 1,840m) and Celestial Peak (Tian Du Feng, 1,829m). It is common for tourists to hike up the mountains, spend the night to watch the sunrise in the morning and then hike back via a different route.
Fujian is a Chinese province on the southeast coast of the country. The name Fujian comes from the two cities of Fuzhou and Jian’ou during the Tang Dynasty. Of all the provinces in China, Fujian is the most culturally and linguistically diverse.
Fujian is a large producer of rice, wheat, sweet potato, sugarcane, rapeseed, lychees and tea. The economic growth of Fujian is slightly slower than that of other Chinese provinces due to its close proximity to Taiwan and therefore its lack of funding from the Chinese Government. However, it has received investment from Fujianese from around the world and is one of the wealthier provinces of China.
Fujian is a highly mountainous area and has been described as being, ‘eight parts mountain, one part water and one part farmland.’ The Wuyi Mountain range borders Fujian and Jiangxi and has been placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The highest mountain in the range is the Huanggang Peak at 2157m in altitude.
All of our Oolong tea comes from the Fujian province and in particular, Da Hong Pao comes from the Wuyi Mountain range where we have visited to specially select the tea farm from which we get our Da Hong Pao tea. We also source our Lapsang Souchong from the Wuyi Mountain area.
Guangdong is a province situated on the southern coast of China and is sometimes known by the English name of Kwangtung Province. The name Guangdong literally means ‘expands east,’ whereas its neighbour Guangxi means, ‘expands west.’ Together the pair is known as the ‘Dual Guangs.’
Guangzhou is an ancient city in Guangdong with a history of 2800 years. The city has been named ‘the spring city,’ due to the abundance of fresh flowers all year round caused by the long summers. There is a myth surrounding the city of Guangzhou about how it was founded. Apparently Five Immortals riding five rams appeared and each ram planted a stalk of rice grain which was to symbolise the plentiful harvest that was to come and to keep coming for many years. Because of this myth, the city also has the nickname, ‘Yang Cheng,’ which literally means, ‘Goat City.’
The GDP of Guangdong is top in China. Light industry including handicrafts, food processing and textiles are of significant importance in the province. In Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shunde, Jiangmen and Shantou sugar refining is popular and in Guangzhou, Foshan and Shunde silk filature and weaving are developed industries. Heavy industries that are fundamental in Guangdong are metal processing, the manufacture of machinery, shipbuilding and ship repairing, the production of hydroelectricity and mining.
Guangdong is where we source our tisanes from and we have visited the areas locally that supply us.
Jiangsu is a province in China on the east coast with a population of about 73 million making it the province with the highest population density in China. Nanjing is the capital of this province and was the capital of several Chinese Dynasties throughout Chinese history.
Jiangsu is a province rich in landscape gardens, scenic attractions and historical sites. Classical gardens in Suzhou have been added to the world cultural heritage site list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Jiangsu is known for having the largest number of historical cities in the country. These cities include Nanjing, Suzhou, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Chanshu, Xuzhou and Huai’an.
The province is known for the products it produces from the traditional light industry of handicrafts such as embroidery, purple pottery, lacquer ware and sandalwood. Tea is also produced in this province. The area is abundant with rivers and lakes creating a natural resource of marine life including yellow fin tuna, hairtail, changfish, shrimp, algae and shellfish.
We have visited Suzhou a water town in Jiangsu and been to see the tea farms where our Bi Lou Chun comes from.
Ningxia is a Hui autonomous region in China located in the northwest Loess Highland with the Yellow River flowing through it and the Great Wall of China running along its north-eastern boundary. The capital of the region is Yinchuan and the region as a whole is sparsely populated. One third of the population is made up with the Huis.
Yinchuan, also known as Phoenix City, is an ancient and well known city and was the capital during the Western Xia Dynasty. Today it is listed as one of the 100 most famous historical and cultural cities by the state. Being the centre of Hui culture, the city is home to unique Islamic architecture.
This region is the principle region of China where Goji Berries (Wolfberries) are grown and it is from here that we get the Goji Berries that we use in our Tisanes.
Yunnan is a province in China located on the Southwest of the country and has a population of 42 million people. The name literally means, ‘South of the Clouds.’ The capital is Kunming which is located at an altitude of 1900m above sea level. Along the border of Yunnan lies the countries of Miamar (Burma), Laos and Vietnam.
Yunnan is not as economically successful as the east coast of China and many of its population live below the poverty line. The main industries of Yunnan are agriculture, tobacco, mining, hydro-electric power and tourism. Within Yunnan there is the greatest number of plant species found in China. These are found in the mountain ranges and tropical forests that are contain in the province. Within these forests you can find the famous Asian elephant and Yunnan golden monkey whose human like features have made it a famous legend in China. E most endangered. Unfortunately this monkey is also one of the world’s most rare primates and there are now fewer than 2000 in the wild.
unnan is the area from which we source all of our Puerh teas. It is the only place in the world that produces puerh tea.
This province of China is situated on the eastern coast with a population of 46million people. The province includes around 200 islands off the eastern coast as well. The name Zhejiang means crooked river and comes from the previous name of the Qiantang River. Zhejiang is known for its production of rice, wheat, tea and silk and also houses the countries largest fishery. From Zhejiang, we source many of our green teas including An Ji Bai Cha, Long Jing Dragonwell and Gun Powder tea as well as one of our white teas, An Ji Bai Pian.
Zhejiang is a popular tourist area due to the beauty is possesses. Hangzhou, the capital city of the province is a popular tourist spot because of its extensive historical and cultural background as well as being idyllic and picturesque. Since 1992 when the city opened up the economy has flourished and is now involved in industries such as agriculture, textile and food processing. We visited the city when sourcing our Long Jing green tea and were able to visit the farm where we now get all our Long Jing from. While there we were able to handpick and help roll the tea leaves ourselves!
Another area of Zhejiang that we have been able to personally visit is Anji. Anji is a county in the prefecture-level city of Huzhou. Until 2000, Anji was relatively cut off area of Zhejiang but since the construction of highways linking it to the National Highway G318 it has become a much more accessible area. We were lucky enough to visit the area and source our Anji Bi Pian and Anji Bai Cha by visiting local farms and forming relationships with the farmers.