BTC sources all of its Chinese green, black and white tea from this single 1,000 hectare organic tea estate. The cleanest most ecological tea grower in China. The first Chinese plantation to be certified by The Rain Forest Alliance.
They make delicious teas too ! Truly premium quality. All types of tea. And totally clean. 4 very good reasons to source from GF Yunnan Tea Company.
Mang Bai Organic Plantation on the Yunnan Burma border.
Tea originated in Yunnan 4,700 years ago. In south west China, bordering Burma, Laos and Vietnam. An agricultural province - not a giant industrial factory like the south eastern provinces. Clean air. Clean water. Very green. Peopled by dozens of south east Asian ethnic groups. It is indeed far away from the hustle and bustle of modern day China.
The journey to Mang Bai is long. Fly to Kunming - capital of Yunnan. Then fly to Lincang. And then drive for hours. Following a winding fast flowing river. A forested valley skirted by mountains. One climbs as one approaches the Burma border. Mang Bai estate's western edge is the actual China Burma border. No fences mind you ! These are the isolated lands of the Wa people.
Pic 1) The Wa Chief and daughters 2009 - local wine toast
Pic 2) 1992 - Chairman Mao's words still influenced the people of China - Menghai Tea Factory
Here there is no danger of pollutants. No pesticides spoiling the water system. Clean. Pristine. Still the perfect place to grow tea after all these millennia ! Clean air. Clean water. Clean teas. Simple really.
Our founder Tony Laurent first met Helen Huan, the owner of Mang Bai Organic Plantation, in 1991 when both were working for Lipton Tea. Tony was based in New York and Helen roved between Kunming, Guangzhou and Beijing. Helen regularly visited the US, and Tony visited the tea growing regions of China - guided by Helen, who today, like Tony, is a 35 year veteran of the tea industry.
In the late 1990's Helen set up her own trading tea company. Trading aside, she had a vision - to create the most ecological tea plantation in China. Organic. Sustainable. Working with the local community. Planning the project with scientific input from the Tea Faculty at her alma meter, Kunming University. This estate was planned in detail from scratch. The land was carefully cleared so as to retain the indigenous forest. Tony first visited in 2009 when the plantings were still new. Now the plantation is maturing. Using the most advanced sustainable methods. A model of modern tea manufacturing. Congratulations to Helen and her team.
Please note that due to the delicacy of top quality green, white and oolong teas, we airfreight all of our Chinese teas (including the Chinese black teas) directly from China to Melbourne Airport. This avoids long ocean voyages and the teas being subjected to wide temperature changes during the journey. Such temperature variances will adversely effect the tea. The teas are all packed in sealed aluminium foil bags of about 2.5kilos each on the plantation after processing. When we break open an individual foil bag we pack the contents immediately into sealed consumer sized pouches so as to maintain freshness. In this manner we strive to deliver the best Chinese teas to you in as preserved a state as possible.
Pic 1. Traditional manual plucking ensures the best green leaf raw material - Mang Bai Organic Plantation
Pic 2. Traditional manual field work - no herbicides.The Wa people - men and women - are constant pipe smokers. The smoke repels insects.
Pic 3. Mme Helen Huan in 2009, checking young transplanted tea at the Mang Bai Organic Plantation. Outstanding tea production is all about planning and detailed execution.Green leaf quality is critical. And nature plays a part too !
5 years later - maturing bushes.
GF Yunnan Tea Company was the first certified Rain Forest Alliance tea estate in China - see certification below. And IMO organic certification. Well done GF Yunnan Tea Co !
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