Chinese Name: 双江勐库茶山
English Name: Mengku Tea Mountain Area in Shuangjiang County, Lincang
Mengku Tea refers to Pu’er tea, which is made from the new leaves of Yunnan large-leaved species in Mengku(勐库), Yunnan, and processed by traditional technology. Traditional technology refers to the whole process of picking fresh leaves(鲜叶采摘), killing green leaves(鲜叶杀青), kneading(揉捻), drying(晾晒), screening(分筛), picking stalks(捡梗), fermenting in Ottawa heap (渥堆发酵 Specially for Pu’er Pipe Tea), pressing by stone milling(石磨压制), packaging and shipment(包装). Mengku Tea – Yunnan Daye Tea Mengku Tea(云南大叶茶勐库种), as the original tea species of Pu’er Tea, is deeply sought after by the majority of Pu’er tea enthusiasts.
Mengku Tea is produced in Lahu, Wa, Brown and Dai Autonomous Counties of Shuangjiang County(双江县), Lincang City（临沧市）, Yunnan Province.Mengku Town （勐库镇）is the hometown of Mengku Daye Tea. Mengku Town is located in the north of Shuangjiang Autonomous County（双江自治县）, between 99° 46’21”——99 °58 ’27” East Longitude and 23 °33’——23 °49’ North Latitude. Mengku Town has a total land area of 475.3 square kilometers. There are many mountains and fewer dams in the area. The area of mountain area accounts for 99.55% while the area of dam area only accounts for 0.45%. The terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast. The valleys are crisscrossed and hills are undulating. The rivers run across the Nanmeng River, which runs through the whole town.
Dongbanshan(东半山) and Xibanshan(西半山)
Mengku Town is divided into East and West. The highest elevation in Mengku Town is 3233 meters of snow mountain, and the lowest elevation is 1040 meters of the Great Bay where Mengku River(勐库大河) and Huilei River(回雷河) meet. The terrain of Mengku is two mountains with one river and one dam, two mountains refer to Bangma Mountain(邦马山) and Ma’anshan Mountain(马鞍山), one river refers to Nanmeng River(南勐河), and one dam refers to Mengku Dam(勐库坝). Bangma Mountain confronts Ma’anshan. The Nanmeng River flows between the two mountains. Mengku people customarily take the Nanmeng River as the boundary. They call the eastern part of the Nanmeng River the eastern part mountain while the western part of the Nanmeng River the western part mountain. Maanshan is in the east of the river. Mengku people call it the Eastern Half Mountain or Dongbanshan(东半山). Bangma mountain is in the west of the river. Mengku people call it the Western Half Mountain or Xibanshan(西半山).
Mengku Tea and History
Suitable natural environment breeds excellent Mengku large-leaved tea species. In 1957 and 1984, two meetings of the National Committee for the examination and approval of tea varieties(全国茶树良种审定委员会) approved Mengku Daye tea(定勐库大叶茶种) as a national excellent tea variety. In April 1962, the Mengku Tea Science Research Institute(勐库茶叶科学研究所) of the former Lincang Commissioner’s Office(临沧专员公署), dispatched personnel to the Gongnong(公弄村) and Xiaohuzhai（小户寨） areas of Mengku Tea Production Zone(勐库生产茶区) to collect samples, according to the notification of the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. For the first time, the Mengku large-leaved group tea species were distinguished and named: Mengku big-leaved green tea(勐库大叶绿茶), Mengku big black-leaved tea(勐库大黑叶茶), Mengku big-long-leaved tea(勐库大长叶茶), Mengku big-round tea(勐库大圆叶茶) and Mengku small black-leaved tea(勐库小黑叶茶) .
Investigation on Mengku Tea Varieties
In June 1981, under the leadership of Yu Fulian Institute(虞富莲研究院), Director of Breeding Department(育种室) of China Nongkeyuan Tea Institute(中国农科院茶叶研究所), 12 people from Yunnan Provincial Tea Varieties Collection Investigation Group(云南省地方茶树品种征集) visited Mengku Bingdao Village(冰岛村) for five days to obtain the original data of Mengku Daye Tea. Yu Fulian proposed that Mengku Daye Tea should be renamed as tubular Daye Tea，which is more accurately. After Iceland’s investigation, Mr. Yu Fulian wrote “Yunnan Daye Tea Variety Yinghao-Mengku Species” (《云南大叶茶品种英豪——勐库种》)in the first issue of “Chinese Tea”(《中国茶叶》) in 1982. In the second issue of “Tea” in 1985, he introduced the fine quality of Mengku Daye Tea to the Chinese people from the aspects of physiology and biochemistry, which made Mengku Daye Tea win a higher reputation.
In November 1985, at the summing-up meeting of “Collection of Tea Varieties Resources in Yunnan Province”(云南省茶树品种资源征集) held by Yunnan Tea Research Institute(云南省农科院茶叶研究所), a variety garden was established based on the results of the investigation, and Mengku Great Green Leaf Tea was specially planted, showing a vigorous growth trend. Mengku Daye Tea, as a national fine variety, ranks first in Yunnan Daye Tea. It is recognized by Chinese tea experts as “the hero of Daye Tea Varieties”(大叶茶品种的英豪) and “the authenticity of Yunnan Daye Tea Varieties”(云南大叶种茶的正宗). Because of its excellent quality, it has been widely disseminated in China.
Distribution of Mengku Tea
In Shuangjiang County（双江县）, 80% of the ancient tea plantations over 120 years old are located in Dongbanshan(东半山) and Xibanshan(西半山) of Mengku Town. These ancient villages over 200 years old in the eastern and western half mountains have artificially cultivated ancient tea gardens.
Mengku is a subtropical mountain monsoon climate, with distinct dry and wet seasons, large temperature difference between day and night, prominent three-dimensional climate, annual sunshine of about 2400 hours, annual average temperature of 18℃. There are abundant precipitation in the territory, and annual average precipitation is 1065 mm in the dam area while 1700mm-1900mm in the mountainous area.
Tea is the traditional pillar industry in Mengku Town and one of the main sources of rural economy and farmers’ income.
Mengku people have a long history of tea planting and created a unique and splendid tea culture. Because Mengku has suitable climate and soil conditions for tea growth, excellent large-leaf tea population varieties have been produced in Mengku area. Mengku tea plants are large-leaved tea population varieties with big black leaves and big green leaves as the main body. Tea plant has strong growth potential, obvious trunk,with many plump buds and leaves, as well as many substances and high yield, which is recognized as an excellent variety.
Several famous ancient tea villages in Mengku are familiar with Dahusai Village (大户赛), Bingdao Village(冰岛), Mangbo Village（忙波）in the western half mountains, as well as Nasai Village（那塞）Banuo Village（坝儒） in the eastern half mountains.
Characteristics of Mengku Tea
Characteristics of Mengku species: thick and broad leaves, special fragrance, vigorous, not as smooth as the other six tea areas; tasting sweet, fragrant and stimulating .
Mengku Ancient Tea Area: (Dongbanshan东半山/Xibanshan西半山)
The Mengku terrain of Shuangjiang County is two mountains with one river and one dam, two mountains refer to Bangma Mountain and Ma’anshan, one river refers to Nanmeng River, one dam refers to Mengku dam, Bangma Mountain and Ma’anshan confront each other, the Nanmeng River passes between the two mountains, Mengku people habitually take the Nanmeng River as the boundary, the mountain on the East side of Nanmeng River is called the eastern half mountain, and the mountain on the west side is called the western half mountain; that is, Maanshan is called the eastern half mountain because it is located in the east of the river and Bangma Mountain is called the western half mountain because it is located in the west of teh river. In Shuangjiang County, 80% of the ancient tea plantations over 120 years old are located in the eastern and western half mountains of Mengku, and there are artificially cultivated ancient tea plantations in every ancient villages which are more than 200 years old.
Tea Villages in Eastern Half Mountain/Dongbanshan东半山 and Western Half Mountain/Xibanshan西半山
Eastern Half Mountain/Dongbanshan东半山: Mangbeng(忙蚌), Banuo(坝糯), Najiao(那焦), Bangdu(帮读), Nasai(那赛), Donglai(东来), Mangna(忙那), Chengzi(城子)
Western Half Mountain/Xibanshan西半山: Bingdao(冰岛), Baka(坝卡), Dongguo(懂过), Dahusai(大户赛), Gongnong(公弄), Banggai(帮改), Bingshan(丙山), Hudong(护东)
Five Villages in Bingdao Tea(冰岛茶)
Dongbanshan: Bawai（坝歪寨）, Nuoru（糯儒寨）
Xibanshan: Bingdao(冰岛), Dijie(地界寨) and Nanpo(南迫寨)
Mengku Eighteen Village Committee (Mengku Eighteen Village/勐库十八寨)
Dongbanshan东半山: Mangbeng(忙蚌), Banuo(坝糯), Najiao(那焦), Bangdu(帮读), Nasai(那赛), Donglai(东来), Mangna(忙那), Chengzi(城子)
Xibanshan西半山: Bingdao(冰岛), Baka(坝卡), Dongguo(懂过), Dahusai(大户赛), Gongnong(公弄), Banggai(帮改), Bingshan(丙山), Hudong(护东), Daxueshan(大雪山), Xiaohusai(小户赛)
Daxueshan and Xiaohusai are the famous Mengku Snow Mountain in the southwest of Iceland. It is about ten kilometers away in a straight line, separated by two peaks: Daliangshan and Dajianshan.
There is a river in the east of Bingdao(冰岛): the Dananmei River(大南美河), which flows through Bingdao and becomes the Mengku River.
Facing to Bingdao Village, it is Linxiang District（临翔区）, Lincang City（临沧市）, which is also one of Linxiang’s famous ancient tree townships: Nanmei Tea Area(南美茶区).
The most famous ancient trees in Linxiang District are mainly in two places: one is Bangdong Town(邦东乡), which is the hometown of Manglu Mountain Tea or Xigui Tea(忙麓山昔归茶); the other is Nanmei Town(南美拉祜族乡). Bingdao Village is adjacent to the Nanmei Town in Linxiang District. It is a very good place. Tea of Nanmei Town will be bright one day.
Eastern Half Mountain/Dongbanshan Tea Plantation东半山茶区
Haigong Tea Area(亥公茶区)
Haigong(亥公) is the northern gate of Shuangjiang River and the gate of Mengku Town. The Haigong Mountains(亥公山脉) are the boundary mountain between Lincang and Mengku, with a high elevation. The elevation difference between the Heigong Mountains and Mengku Dazi is nearly 1000 meters. Haigong has more than 3000 acres of organic tea garden, ranking first in Mengku. The big tea factories in Shuangjiang make the raw materials of Haigong as the first choice for tea export and black tea.
Nasai tea area(那赛茶区)
On both sides of the Nasai Highway are rattan tea plantations(藤条茶园) planted before 1965.
The Nasai village is an ancient Lahu ethnic village. Most of the oldest and largest ancient tea gardens in Nasai are here. There are more than 80 families in the village, 90% of them are Lahu people. The ancient post road from Mengkuba to Boshan and Lincang passes through the village. On both sides of the old road, there are hundreds of ancient tea gardens. Many ancient tea trees are more than 80 centimeters in circumference, which was planted by Lahu people, before Han people moved here.
Zhengqi Tang(正气塘) is a Han village on the top of a small village. There are more than 30 families in Zhengqi Tang. Zhengqi Tang used to be inhabited by Lahu people, and now dozens of acres of tea plantations are planted by Lahu people. The trunk of tea trees has grown thicker than the mouth of the big bowl. In 1903, the Lahu people moved away and the Han people planted tea trees.
Zhengqi Tang is very convenient for people to sell tea. They can walk from Zhengqi Tang to Boshang Street(博尚街) for three hours. If they don’t want to go to Boshang(博尚), they can put the tea at the door and buy it when there are horse bands.
Nasai Dazhai Village(那赛大寨)
Nasai Dazhai is crossed by an ancient road, dividing the Dazhai into two stockades, Shangzhai(上寨) above the ancient road and Xiazhai (下寨) below, both of which are Han stockades. The old tea trees in Nasai Dazhai are scattered along the ancient road, planted by the Han people in the early years of the Republic of China(民国初年).
Since the 1980s, the Nasai Village Committee(那赛村委会) has planted more than 2,000 Mu high-yielding tea plantations. The Han people have also set up small tea processing factories in Nasai, and the products are popular everywhere.
Najiao tea area(那蕉茶区)
There are seven villages of Najiao Villagers Committee (那蕉村委会) along the highway. Each village is over 1700 meters above sea level. In addition to Dazhai, the other six are Lahu villages, each of which has an ancient tea garden.
Near the village there is a clear stream with a great flow of water. Tea trees are planted all around the village. New and old tea trees have been mixed up.
Nanbatian(南坝田) and Sanjiacun(三家村)
On the way from Nanba Tian to Sanjiacun Villages, hundreds of old and new tea gardens can’t be finished seeing within in one hour. There is a huge stone in this tea garden, which looks like a cow. So this tea garden is named Shiniu Tea Garden(石牛大茶园). This tea garden used to be a rattan tea garden(藤条茶园). Half of it was transformed and dwarfed more than 10 years ago. However, the shape of rattan tea has gradually emerged in recent years because Lahu people do not like to cut down redundant branches. The area of this ancient tea garden is too large, the labor force of each village is insufficient, so a large number of fresh leaves can not be picked every year. Behind Sanjiacun Village, there is an ancient tea garden called Yanzijiao Ancient Tea Garden(岩子脚古茶园).
There are many ancient tea gardens in Najiao village(那蕉村), but few tea trees are over two or three hundred years old. Before the Han people moved in, the Lahu ethnic people in Najiao Village did not make tea a big industry.
Banuo tea area(坝糯茶区)
Banuo(坝糯) is the largest village in the Eastern Half Mountain (Dongbanshan/东半山) of Mengku Town. There are more than 300 families, 85% of which are Han, and the rest are Lahu, with an altitude of more than 1900 meters.
Banuo is well-known throughout Lincang City, whose fame comes from the rattan tea(藤条茶) produced by Banuo. The rattan tea garden has the best preservation, the largest area and the most beautiful shape, which is amazing. There are dozens or hundreds of vines on a tree, the longest of which can reach 3 to 4 meters, and the vines from several tea trees are intertwined and woven into a row of rattan nets.
Banuo’s rattan tea(坝糯藤条茶), when fresh, has round and strong buds, light green and dense plush. After drying, the buds are white and bright with a slight golden yellow. It is made into tea cakes with clear lines and shiny buds on the cake surface, which makes people fond of it.
The pruning and cultivation of tea branches into canes should be a technique brought by the Han people. This method of self-cultivation can not be found in Xiaohusai Lahu ethnic village(小户赛拉祜族寨), Gongnong Bulang ethnic village(公弄布朗族寨) and Bingdao Dai ethnic village(冰岛傣族寨) in Mengku.
There are large areas of rattan tea plantations in the villages with the majority of Han people in the eastern half mountains. Before 1949, there were more than 2000 acres rattan tea plantations in Banuo, but now there are 1500 mu left behind. The area is also the first in Shuangjiang area.
Mangbang tea area(忙蚌茶区)
Mangbang(忙蚌) is a Lahu village. There are more than 140 families, divided into big (Dazhai/大寨) and small (Xiaozhai/小寨) stockades. There are more than 120 families in the big stockade, 95% of them are Lahu, and only 20 families in the small stockade, mainly Han. Mangbang Dazhai(忙蚌大寨) is an ancient Lahu ethnic village. There is a large amount of water passing through the middle of the village. Lahu people build houses on both sides of the stream. There is a large ancient tea garden on the south slope of the village. The tree age is about 100 years. It is also cultivated according to the cultivation method of rattan tea in Mangnuo Dazhai ancient tea garden. The ancient tea garden of the Mangbang was planted by the Lahu people. Before 1930, the Mangbang Dazhai had not been inhabited by the Han people. Lahu people’s own Kachai (卡些/village head) had prestige, which made the Han people dare not go to the Mangbang Dazhai village to change their fields for tea gardens with wine, so that the tea gardens were preserved.
Zhangwai tea area(章外茶区)
Zhangwai is an old tea district in Shuangjiang. Now there are many ancient tea gardens in Ming and Qing Dynasties and in the period of the Republic of China.
Zhang Wai was once under the jurisdiction of Mengku Town in the early days of the founding of New China. And then it was classified as Heliu Town (贺六乡) in the 1980s. Heliu Town was merged into Mengku town in 2006, and Zhang Wai was also classified as Mengku town. Zhang Wai is far from Mengba and closer to Mengku Basin. Because Zhangwai is close to Mengku and connected with Haigong, Zhangwai is assigned to the ancient tea garden in the eastern half of Mengku Mountain in the division of tea districts. Zhangwai is now a village committee in Mengmeng Town. There are more than 10 natural villages in size. The ancient tea gardens in Zhangwai are mainly distributed in Yingpan Village(营盘村), Shangzhangwai Village(上章外村) and Xia Zhangwai Village(下章外村), Shitouzhai(石头寨) and Xinzhai(新寨) . These ancient tea villages are connected by an earthen road.
Yingpan village is located on the high side of the road with an elevation of about 1800 meters. The earliest inhabitants of Yingpan village are Lahu people. Now it is a Han people’s village with 50 families. Lahu people planted many tea trees in Yingpan. Now there are more than 10 remaining trees. The tree circumference is more than 80 centimeters, and the growth is very good.
Shangzhangwai Village(上章外村) is the largest village in Zhangwai Village, with 80 families and only 3 Lahu families. Sporadic tall ancient tea trees with a tree circumference of more than 100 cm can be seen on the hillsides around Shangzhangwai. These tea king trees are planted by Lahu people. Zhangwaihe River flows through the middle of Shangzhangwai village. There are ancient tea gardens on the slopes of both sides of the river, which were planted by Han people in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China.
Before 1949, Zhangwai Tea had become famous in Boshang Street(博尚街). Businessmen in Lincang Basin often rushed to buy tea in Zhangwai. The natural environment conditions in Shangzhangwai(上章外) are good, the land is rich in fertilizer and water, the fields are abundant, the tea garden is abundant, the economic strength is very strong. Although the villages are few, the people in the eastern and western half mountain not dare to look down on Shangzhangwai.
There are 18 families in Shitouzhai Village, one of which is Lahu ethnic people and the rest is Han. The ancient tea gardens in Stone Village are the most in several villages of Zhangwai. Most of them are left by Lahu people. After the second great uprising of Lahu people was suppressed by the Qing government in 1887, they moved out of Shitouzhai Village(石头寨). The Han people moved in and took over the remaining tea gardens. Some new tea gardens were planted. After 1958, Shangzhangwai and Shitouzhai Village(石头寨) planted another five or six hundred acres tea gardens. The tea gardens in the two villages were connected.
Xiazhangwai consists of two small villages, together with more than 60 families. The villages above are called the first group(Erzu/一组) and the villages below are called the second group(Erzu/二组). The first group, also known as Yang Jiazhai(杨家寨), has 21 families, mostly surnamed Yang(杨). Because there are many paddy fields, there are not many tea trees planted .
Several villages in Zhangwai have tea gardens planted in the early years of the Republic of China. There are a few old tea gardens planted on the hillside and in the middle of the new-style platform tea gardens. By 1950, the area of tea gardens had been very large. In 1954, Shuangjiang Tea Station had set up a purchasing point in Zhangwai. By 1955, 12,000 Jin tea was collected. At that time, there are only about 100 or so families in total in Zhangwai, so the output was not low.
Zhangwai is very close to Mengku, and once belonged to Mengku. Mengku people recognize Zhangwai tea(章外茶) as Mengku tea. Zhangwai tea is different from the tea in other villages in Mengku. One can feel sweet as soon as tasting it. Tea makers all like Zhangwai tea.
Western Half Mountain/Xibanshan Tea Plantation西半山茶区
Gonglang Village is the inhabitant of the Bulang Ethnic People, the oldest village in Mengku, and the place where Gupu people(The ancestors of Tea古濮人) lived.
Gongnong is situated in a small mountain range extending from Bangma Snow Mountain(邦马大雪山) to Mengku, about 12 kilometers away from Mengku Basin. Standing by the Nanmeng River(南勐河) of Mengku Basin, you can see the big green trees of Gonglang Laozhai. Gonglang’s elevation is not the highest in the villages of Mengkuxi Banshan, but Gonglang’s geographical position is good and its vision is wide. Gonglang’s people can see the main peak of Bongma Snow Mountain when they sit at their doorstep.
Gongnong Village is a Bulang ethnic village. Before 1950, it was a famous tea-producing village in Mengku, Shuangjiang. Its tea garden area is at least 2,000 acres above. In 1954 Shuangjiang County Tea Station had already set up some tea collection points in the Gongnong.
Gongnong was listed in the low-yielding tea garden transformation area and the new-style tea garden demonstration area in the 1950s. The ancient tea trees in Gongnong were cut down a lot. At present, few of the 300-year-old ancient tea trees have been preserved. The largest existing tea tree with a circumference of 220 cm can be comparable to the King Tea Tree of Jingmai Mountain(景迈山) in Lancnag County and Nannuoshan Mountain(南糯山) in Menghai County. In spite of this, Gongnong Daye tea has been concerned and valued for half a century, and its varieties have been optimized continuously, which makes Gongnong tea with high popularity and high tea price, and it still sells well.
Another well-known village of Gongnong Village Committee(公弄村委会) is Xiaohusai. Xiaohusai and Gongnong villages are separated by a deep gully. Now there are earth roads connecting the two places. The earth roads can be reached by about 12 kilometers along the mountain.
There are more than 200 families in Xiaohusai. They are composed of three stockades, one Han stockade, two Lahu stockades and three stockades, which are situated on the middle of the main peak of Bangma Snow Mountain(邦马大雪山). The Han stockade is about 1 kilometer away from the two Lahu stockades. Behind Xiaohusai is Bangma Snow Mountain, on which is the most concentrated primitive forest of wild tea trees. The distance from Xiaohusai to wild tea trees is much closer than Dahusai, but the hills behind Xiaohusai are too steep to climb, so people go to Bongma Snow Mountain to see the wild tea forest generally from Dahusai.
The majority in Xiaohusai is Lahu, accounting for 70% of the total household. The Lahu people live in Liangzizhai（梁子寨） and Wazizhai（洼子寨）. These two villages are very close. Most of the largest and oldest ancient tea gardens in Xiaohusai are in these two villages. Liangzizhai is a very distinctive ancient tea village. Almost every family has ancient tea trees in front of and behind their houses. It is not clear whether the village was built in the tea forest or whether the tea trees were planted in the village.
Gungang River(滚岗河) and Chashan River(茶山河) flow down from Bangma Snow Mountain. One left, one right ,one front and one behind separates the three villages of Xiaohusai in the middle. All the roads entering and leaving Xiaohusai must pass through these two rivers. The River blockage slows down the transformation speed of Xiaohusai Old Tea Garden(小户赛老茶园), which makes the ancient tea trees here retain more.
Tofu Village is another big tea village of Gongnong Village Committee(公弄村委会). It is now inhabited by all Han people and has more than 70 families. The Tofu village was formerly called Zhonghusai(中户赛) by the Lahu people in Xiaohuzhai(小户寨).
In 1950, more than 100 acre of tea plantations were planted at the end of Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China. After 1952, more and more people moved in. More and more houses were built. Half of the old tea plantations were cut down. Today, only twenty or thirty acres of tea were left and enclosed in the middle of the stockade.
The Tofu village is a low-lying village in Gongnong. There are Wujia village(五家村) and Sanjia village(三家村) above Tofu village. The terrain of Wujia village is higher than that of the tofu village. The sea level is nearly 1800 meters. There is a Sanjia villages on it, one kilometer away. Sanjia village is the tea producing village with the highest altitude in Shuangjiang and Mengku, with an altitude of 2000 meters. Sanjia village can not only see the west half of the mountain(西半山), but also collect the Mengku dam under the mountain.
The ancient tea garden in Sanjiacun is just in front of the village. The trees are very close to each other. People can climb up trees to pick leaves without climbing down and climb directly to another tree. The main diameter of the tea tree in this ancient tea garden is more than 90 centimeters, and the tree age is at least 200 years.
There are 150 families in Dahusai, including Lahu and Han, 60 of which are Lahu and the rest are Han. The Han people live in the upper Liangzi(Shangbian Liangzi/上边梁子) and the Lahu people live in the lower depression(Xiabian Wazi/下边洼子) about half a kilometer apart.
The best preserved ancient tea garden in Dahusai is in the riverside village inhabited by the Lahu people. Most of the ancient tea trees over 200 years are here. This ancient tea garden has about 50 or 60 mu, which has not been dwarfed. The tree girth is mostly between 90 cm and 110 cm.
Dahusai’s Mao Tea(毛茶) is a little different from its villages in the Western Half Mountains(西半山). It is dark and shiny after being dried. Mengku people call it big black leaves. The tea soup is bright and brilliant. Dahusai was the main tea-producing village in Mengku in 1949. Dahusai was the key tea-growing area delimited by Shuangjiang County in the 1950s. Tea trees were planted every year. Now the tea gardens that can be picked have Sanjiacun Village(三家村) and Tofu village(豆腐寨) in Gongnong(公弄), one is closed to Dongguo Village(懂过) and Dijie Village(地界).
Dongguo tea area(懂过茶区)
Dongguo village（懂过大寨） is the place where the village committee is located. It is the largest village in Mengku western half mountains(西半山). There are more than 400 families now. Dongguo village(懂过大寨) is composed of two natural villages, and knowing the village committee has a total of four natural villages. The villages are mainly planting tea. New and old tea fields account for half of the four villages. The total area of new and old tea fields has reached more than 5700 acres, which is the largest village committee in Mengku western half mountain tea garden.
Dongguo is an ancient village, before returning to the mainland(改土归流) is a Lahu village, where more than 150 years of tea plants are planted by the Lahu people, these large tea trees have been known not to lose to Bingdao(冰岛), 60 to 100 years of tea garden accounts for half in Dongguo mountain(懂过山), tea gardens planted in 1904 to 1940 are not less than 2,000 acres, these tea gardens are now retained, has now developed to 5000 acres.
Baka tea area（坝卡茶区）
Baka is very high, nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. Standing at Baka, looking at Bongma Snow Mountain, I feel that Bongma Snow Mountain is not so lofty anymore. Baka consists of three villages, Shangzhai(上寨), Zhongzhai(中寨) and Xiazhai(下寨). There are more than 200 families, of which 95% are Han. There are more than 1500 acres tea plantations in Baka, mainly planted in the 1980s by 20 people. There are not many old tea plantations in Baka, but only more than 100 acres are left. The main areas are in Xiazhai.
Since 1950, there are not many tea gardens in Baka, and few people come to visit it. Since 1960, more than 1000 acres of new tea gardens have been built in Baka, but for a long time, Baka tea was sent to the primary processing institute in Dongguo(懂过初制所). Because of the inconvenience of transportation and little communication with the outside world, although there are more than 1500 acres tea plantations, the price of tea has been low.
Bingdao tea area(冰岛茶区)
Bingdao is located in the northernmost part of Mengku Town, 33 kilometers away from Mengku Town, bordering Nanmei Township(南美乡) of Lincang City. Before 1950, Bingdao Old Village was enclosed by Tea Garden(茶园围村). In order to improve its output, Shuangjiang County has carried out the transformation and optimization of Iceland’s old tea garden. After decades of transformation and breeding, the tea garden before 1949 still has more than 100 acres, and there are still two or three mother trees in Ming Dynasty. These ancient tea trees grow near the village. Since 1985, Iceland has planted 6700 mu of new tea plantations. Compared with Gongnong and Dahusai villages, the tea plantations in the old Icelandic village are not too many, but because there are not many people in the old Icelandic village, the tea plantations owned by each family are still considerable.
Sixty years ago, people said that Bingdao tea refers to the tea of Bingdao old village. Today Iceland is an administrative village, namely the Bingdao Village Committee(冰岛村委会). Bingdao Villagers’ Committee has five natural villages, including Iceland, Nanxu, Bawa, Nuowu and Territory. Looking down from the old village of Bingdao, the Nanmeng River is a Nanmei town（南美乡） originating from Lincang. It enters the boundary of Shuangjiang River fromBingdao. The Nanmeng River divides the Mengku River into two parts. The Mengku people call the mountains on both sides of the river the Eastern Peninsula and the Western Peninsula. Bawa and Nuowu old villages belong to the eastern peninsula, while Bingdao old villages, Nanpo and Dijie villages belong to the western peninsula.
If Bingdao Tea is called Bingdao Tea in the five natural villages under the jurisdiction of Bingdao Village Committee(冰岛村委会), Bingdao Tea has both eastern and Western mountains(东半山和西半山), so when buying Bingdao Tea, it must be clear whether to buy Bingdao Tea under the jurisdiction of Bingdao Village Committee.
Nanpo Laozhai Village(南迫老寨)
Nanpo old village（南迫老寨） is a Lahu ethnic village. In the past, there were more than 70 families. Because of the high altitude and inconvenient traffic, the Shuangjiang County Government decided in 2000 to move Nanpo old village as a whole to the highway below Bingdao Village. However, some Lahu people could not afford to leave their fields, walnut forests and old tea gardens after moving to the new village, and more than 10 families moved back to the old village. There are many ancient tea plantations in Nanpo, which are widely distributed. One kilometer away from the old village, we can see a series of ancient tea plantations in the forest. There are hundreds of acres old tea plantations in Nanpo old village. The history of this village will not be less than 500 years. Because the processing technology of Lahu people is not good, the dried wool tea processed can not be sold at a price. The Lahu people will carry the fresh leaves picked to the old village in Bingdao for sale.
Dijie Laozhai Village(地界老寨)
There used to be 60 families in Dijie old village（地界老寨）.But becuase it is inconvenient and close to forest, in 2004, Shuangjiang County arranged for the whole village to move to the highway, but by 2007, more than 10 Lahu families had moved back to the old village. There are 50 or 60 acres old tea gardens in old village, where Lahu people can pick more than 1,000 kilograms of fresh leaves and sell them to tea merchants in Icelandic villages every year.
Bawai Laozhai Village(坝歪老寨)
Before 2000, there were more than 50 families in the old village of Bawai（坝歪老寨）. Because of a large village of Lahu nationality and a small village of Han nationality, in 2004, the county arranged to move all of them down the mountain. But two years later, more than 10 Lahu people returned to the old village from the new village under the mountain. There were four or five hundred acres tea gardens in the old village on the mountain. This may be the reason why the Lahu people moved back to the old village. The ancient tea gardens of more than 200 years in Bawa are almost all in Lahu stockade. Now there are no less than 100 acres left behind. There are also more than 100 acres old tea gardens around Han stockade. It seems that the tea tree is much smaller than Lahu stockade. It is a tea garden planted during the Republic of China. From the tea gardens of the two stockades, it can be seen that Lahu people planted tea earlier than Han people in Bawa.
Old village of Bawai is nearly 2000 meters above sea level and far away from Mengku dam. It is a village with very inconvenient traffic in Mengku. However, the Shuangjiang County Government still developed two or three hundred mu tea plantations in Bawai, from 1958 to 1965. It may be that there has been no primary tea production Institute in Bawai, and tea plantations have not been developed on a large scale. There are far fewer tea gardens in Bawai than in Iceland, Dahusai and other villages, but no new tea tree has been planted in Bawai since 1980. So 100% of pure Mengku large-leaved species in Bawai old village are pure Mengku large-leaved species, and the raw materials of pure Mengku large-leaved species are sold at a higher price in Shuangjiang than other varieties.
Nuowu Laozhai Village(糯伍老寨)
In 2003, there were 35 families living in Nuowu Old Village（糯伍老寨）. In 2004, the Shuangjiang County Government arranged for the whole village to move to the side of the highway below the mountain. The government allocated funds to build Nuowu New Village(糯伍新寨). Although the village has been relocated, the Lahu people still go back to the old village to pick tea in the season of tea picking. There are also fifty or sixty acres old tea gardens in Nuowu. The size of tea trees is similar to that of the old village in Bawai, which should be planted in the same age as that of the old village in Bawai.
Nuowu tea is well-known in Mengku, but its output is small, and its price is similar to that of Icelandic old village . It is not easy to buy pure tea of Nuowu old village than pure tea of Bingdao old village.
Bingshan tea area（丙山茶区）
Before 1960, Bingshan was called Bangbing, which was a combination of Bang Yan and Bingshan. Because of the same name as Bangbing Township along the Xiaoheijiang River, it was changed to Bingshan. Bingshan is an administrative village, under the jurisdiction of the village committee, there are several mountain villages, such as Bangma village（邦骂大寨）, Bingshan Shangzhai(丙山上寨) Village, Bingshan Xiazhai(丙山下寨) Villageand Gunshangshan(滚上山) Village and so on.
Bangma Dazhai Village(邦骂大寨) is a natural village of Bingshan Village Committee(丙山村委会). More than 130 families are mostly Han people. Bangma Dazhai is very close to Gongnong Dazhai(公弄大寨), only 4 kilometers away. Before 1950, Bangma was under the jurisdiction of Gongnong District Public Office(公弄区公所). Behind the village is a hill. When you cross the hill, you can see XiaoHusai(小户赛), Tofu Village(豆腐寨) and Sanjiacun Village(三家村) on the opposite hill. On the slopes of half the hill, there are all tea gardens. This is the famous DapiepoTea Garden. Dapiepo Tea Garden(大撇坡茶园) is the largest preserved ancient tea garden in Bangma(邦骂), with at least 300 acres. According to the memory of the old people in the village, it was planted between 1880 and 1945.
Binshan Dazhai Village(丙山大寨)
Binshan village(丙山大寨) is now the seat of Binshan Village Committee(丙山村委会). Binshan Dazhai is divided into Shangzhai(上寨) and Xiazhai(下寨). Shangzhai is a Han Nationality Village with 50 families. Xiazhai is mainly a Wa nationality. There are more than 70 families. Binshan village is a big tea village. It is surrounded by five kilometers of tea fields. Old tea fields and new tea fields can not be separated. In the 1950s, there was a large area of tea plantations in Bingshan. From 1950 to 1956, there were no new tea plantations. All the existing tea plantations were old ones.
Gunshangshan Village(滚上山) is across the river from Bingshan village. Gunshangshan sounds funny. People in Bingshan village say that the origin of this name is related to a couple of young men and women who are in love. I wonder that year, a girl in Bingshan village did not listen to her parents’ advice. She decided to stay with her lover and her parents threw out a sentence in a rage: “Rolling up the hill.” Go! ” From then on, the young couple lived here. Gunshangshan is a mainly Han village with 86 households. It is between Bangai(邦改) and Bingshan(丙山). There are ancient tea gardens in Bangai(邦改) and Bingshan, as well as Gunshangshan. From 1958 to 1980, a large number of new tea gardens were planted along with Bingshan and Banggai. Tea seeds were introduced from Bingdao Village, Gongnong and Banggai, all of which were authentic large-leaved species. Mengku people also understand that good raw materials can not be all flowed away, now the new tea garden in Gunshangshan, the old tea garden are handed over to the acquisition point which was set by some tea factories.
Banggai tea area(邦改茶区)
Banggai Village Committee(邦改村委会) has one Lahu and four Han villages, all of which are dominated by tea. The first big stockade we saw in Banggai was Lahu nationality stockade. The people of Banggai were called Banggai Dazhai(邦改大寨) or Banggai Laozhai(邦改老寨).
There are 99 Lahu ethnic groups in Banggai village, which is the second largest Lahu ethnic group in Mengku western half mountain after Xiaohusai. The site of the ancient tea garden can be seen 300 meters away from Bangjian Dazhai, leaving only some ancient tea tree stumps.
Yaojiazhai is the nearest one among the four Han villages in Banggai, less than 300 meters away from the old village. Near the ancient road of Yaojiazhai is the oldest tea garden in Banggai. Unfortunately, only about 10 tea trees with a height of 4.5 meters and a tree circumference of more than 80 centimeters are preserved. The rest are large tea stumps that have been cut off.
Yizhai（以寨）, Waizhai（外寨） and Xiazhi（下寨）are the other three Han villages in Banggai. Tea gardens of three villages, each half kilometer apart, have been closed. Most of the tea gardens in Bangjiao from 1900 to 1980 were in this area. Shuangjiang people knew that Shuangjiang had not introduced tea species from other places before 1983. Tea species were collected from Mengku area. People called these tea authentic Mengku big leaf species.
In 1954, Banggai set up a tea purchasing station. In 1957, under the training and instruction of technicians sent from Lincang Special Zone, the modern processing technology of tea has been continuously improved. The processing quality of tea is very good. Most of the tea has been purchased by Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Company(双江勐库茶叶公司).
Mangpo tea area（忙坡茶区）
Mangpo(忙披) is a Dai ethnic village, which is read Wanbo in Dai language, located on the edge of Mengku dam on the West Bank of the NanMeng River(南勐), about 3 kilometers away from Mengku Street. There are more than 80 families in Mangpo Village, more than 50 Dai families, more than 20 Wa families, and several Han families who have moved in. Mangpo is at the most edge of the dam, mountains from the beginning of Mangpo, Dai people there open paddy fields and tea plantations in accordance with local conditions. According to old Dai people, these tea gardens were planted by the Lahu people before the Dai people moved in.
Looking from the ancient tea trees left behind by Mangpo, the Dai people have been planting tea since they moved in. The tea garden behind Mangpo Village is called Hainong Tea Field(亥弄大茶地). The largest ancient tea trees in Mangpo are all there. “Hainong” means a large area of Dai language. Before 1903, “Laliwanbo” (the best tea in Mangpo/腊丽宛波) was sent to Fanong, the village official of Mengku Chengzizhai every year. Fanong gave part of it to Mengku Tusi, which was the first choice for nobles and rulers. The fame and value of busy tea had been decided by the chieftain a hundred years ago.
The sea level of Mangpo(忙披寨) is about 1200 meters, which is lower than other stockades on Mengku Dam. For some reason, tea of Mangpo is different from those on the mountain in taste and soup color. Many people don’t like it. Unfortunately, most of the big trees in Hainong tea field were cut down in 1959 when they were transformed into tea gardens. Only two or three of them are left. Fortunately, some new tea gardens were opened after 1958, and many new tea trees were planted in the old tea gardens. Now, there are more than 400 acres of tea gardens in Mangpo. Whether the tea garden of Mangpo is new or old, the trees around the tea garden are well protected.
Translated by Zheng Qian/郑倩
The Location Map of Mengku Puer Tea Mountain Area in Shuangjiang County, Lincang