There is no doubt of the fact that Yunnan is the natural apogee of tea in the whole world given the location of world’s oldest tea tree in Fengqing, and tea trade routes going back several millennia. The recent delegation from Lincang county of Yunnan was both important and pertinent, as was the suggestion by CII to attend Yunnan’s tea festivals and visit the Shennong tea temple in Shuangjiang. Their participation in our India Tea Forum, organised biannually in Siliguri and the urging by STAC – Siliguri Tea Auction Committee – as well as to get the “sister city” status for Siliguri and Lincang – highlights the point that they produce the greatest amount of CTC teas in China.
The proximity of Siliguri to the hills of Darjeeling, the plains of Ganga and Testa rivers – as well as the fusion point of mongoloid and negroid races – highlights the importance of this city and its handling of 750 million kilos annual tea production from these contiguous areas up to the Myanmar border. On the other hand, Lincang is the commercial center of five counties in Yunnan, producing 450 million kilos of tea annually – Baoshan, Dehong, Lincang, Pu’er and Xishangbanna – as well as its common ancient tea trade route through Dali – makes it a rightful sister city contender with Siliguri, similar to what has recently been officially accomplished for Kunming and Calcutta.
These two points – tea and location have yet another commonality, which is CTC. No other area in China has adapted to tea production of this type simply as an escape route during stressful days of marketing its world- famous pu’er teas.
Now the burden lies on the part of STAC, CII and other such organisations to get this special sisterhood status – which took 15 years for Calcutta and Kunming through the K2K forum. The ITF must be made the platform for this specific cause.
Images courtesy of Rajiv Lochan, of Lochan Teas.