Overview:The best known in Pu'er areas are the Six Great Tea Mountains: Bulang Mountain, Jingmai Mountain, Menghai Mountain, Nannuo Mountain, Yiwu(Mansa) Mountain, Youle(Jinuo) Mountain, a group of Pu-erh tea mountains in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province.
Yunnan has several different tea growing regions. The best known pu'er areas are the Six Great Tea Mountains, a group of mountains in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, renowned for their climates and environments, which not only provide excellent growing conditions for pu'er, but also produce unique taste profiles (akin to terroir in wine) in the produced pu'er tea. Over the course of history, the designated mountains for the tea mountains have either been changed or listed differently.
In the Qing dynasty government records for Pu'er, the oldest historically designated mountains were said to be named after six commemorative items left in the mountains by Zhuge Liang, and using the Chinese characters of the native language of the region. These mountains are all located northeast of the Lancang River (Mekong) in relatively close proximity to one another. The mountains' names, in the Standard Chinese character pronunciation are:
Top Six Famous Tea Mountains
Although tea and particulary pu-erh tea is is grown and produced throughout whole Yunnan, it's primarily the tea mountains that made the province famous. Well known are the old Six Famous Tea Mountains which are located in Xishuangbanna prefecture of southern Yunnan. These are the old Six Famous Mountains:
Six Famous Tea Mountains in Northeast of the Lancang River:
Six Great Tea Mountains in Southwest of the Lancang River:
For various reasons, around the end of the Qing dynasty and at the beginning of the ROC period (the early twentieth century), tea production in these mountains dropped dramastically, either due to large forest fires, overharvesting, prohibitive imperial taxes, or general neglect. To revitalize tea production in the area, the Chinese government in 1962 selected a new group of six great tea mountains that were named based on the more important tea producing mountains at the time, including Youle mountain from the original six. Currently, the following areas are considered as New Six Famous Tea Mountains:
Bulang Tea Mountain
Jingmai Tea Mountain
Menghai Tea Mountain
Nannuo Tea Mountain
Yiwu(Mansa) Tea Mountain
Youle(Jinuo) Tea Mountain
Other well-known areas of Yunnan
Beside these Six Famous Mountains there are also other famous areas. Lao Bangzhan for example is currently totally hip and maybe one day it will be considered as one of the Six Famous Tea Mountains. Many other areas of Yunnan also produce pu'er tea. Yunnan prefectures that are major producers of pu'er include Lincang, Dehong, Simao, Xishuangbanna, and Wenshan. Other notable tea mountains famous in Yunnan include among others: