Gardens of the Birthplace of Tea
Ancient tea trees (100-2000 year-old) from the Earth's original virgin tea forests
The tea arbors amongst the Lan Xang (Million Elephants) ecological virgin rainforest are said to be the first in the world. The earliest records show the gardens being established in 696 AD through cultivating ancient wild tea trees by our teachers the Bu'Lang Mountain tea masters. Ethno-botonists estimate this natural plantation has been wild harvested upwards to 4,000 years ago by their ancestors, the world's original tea masters, a collective of tribes known as the Bai (100) Pu'.
Stretching from the highlands of Tibet down to the lowlands of Vietnam, the Lan Xang river and its lush valleys were the beginnings for the life of tea trees, fed at the source from snow melt of the Himalayas. Nature, tribes and animals moving along the river spread its growth outward, though the ideal natural location for growing tea lies just north and south of the 30 degree parallel at about a 4,000 ft elevation in the heart of Southeast Asia's virgin rainforest. The Ancient "Tea Mountains" here, are areas where locals have harvested the indigenous tea trees for millennia leaving them to grow naturally in biodiverse conditions. The result was areas of mountains and valleys thriving with native tea trees anywhere from 100-1200 years in age, that still produce fresh vital tea leaves. These trees grow amongst a thick virgin rainforest known as the Emerald Jewel because of its role as the cradle of East Asian flora and fauna. It is the origin of the prehistoric tea tree, mother of tea varietals and tea culture. The tea leaves from this region contain a purity and healthy organic quality not found in non-organic, non-biodiverse teas or those from younger man-made hybrid varietals common today. They are reported to be higher in antioxidants and healthy minerals.
Shangri La, Yun'Nan (South of The Clouds)
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