Yunnan Tea

tea horse road map

In the very south of China, nestled up against Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar is the original home of camellia sinensis plant. The iron rich red soil, the cloud covered hills and mountains, and the warm temperatures of the region are ideal for growing tea plants. Yunnan tea leaves are famously large and come from tall trees that can live and produce tea for centuries.

sorting tea by handThe long fuzzy leaves (maocha) are picked by hand, rolled, withered, oxidized, and dried like standard black teas. Some of the leaves will be finished and sold at that point, but most of the leaves from the Pu'er region will be further processed.  Using various methods of steaming, molding, labeling, pressing, and aging, tea producers will press the tea into cakes, bricks, or nuggets of various types ready for shipment.

tea horse road - puer teaOriginally, the elaborate bundling was necessary to enable the export of the tea to distant lands. The ancient tea horse road is the stuff of legend, and the blood, sweat, and tears spent getting tea to the world is well-documented reality.

Today, the packaging is optimized for aging. Producers have mastered the subtleties of the aging process to bring a whole new dimension to the character and flavor of the tea. After being pressed into cakes, the tea continues its oxidation and also undergoes a gradual fermentation process. The longer the tea ages, the better the flavor becomes. Chinese will tell you that puer tea is the best tea to have with heavy meal as it aids with digestion and is imbued with enhanced medicinal properties. (probiotic effect?)

Getting into and out of the tea producing areas of Yunnan continues to be a challenge as you can see from a couple photos Donna took on a recent trip. But our desire to find the source and get the best overcame the challenge and we are happy to offer a variety of teas from Yunnan. Also, China is building highways through mountains like you wouldn't believe turning day long bus rides into a few hours drive.


yunnan tea horse road yunnan tea horse road

In addition to cakes, bricks, and nuggets of fermented teas, Yunnan also produces some fantastic red teas from the ancient big leaf trees. Donna searched far and wide to find a wide variety of Yunnan teas; black, red, and even a green. We hope you'll find something to enjoy as the nights get shorter and family draws near.

Check out all these teas from Yunnan!

date fragrance puer

Date Fragrance
Puer Brick

yunnan supreme

Yunnan Supreme

dark puer cake

Dark Puer Cake

old tree red tea

Old Tree Red Tea

green puer cake

Green Puer Cake

puer rice nuggets

Puer Rice Nuggets

osmanthus puer

Osmanthus Puer

old tree green puer cake

Old Tree Green
Puer Cake

puer mini cakes

Puer Mini Cakes



assorted tuocha

Assorted Tuocha

yunnan mao jian

Yunnan Mao Jian







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