It’s been agreed that Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna is the origin of tea in the world as well as the earliest tea planter. There are two in Menghai County centuries-old tea trees Xishuangbanna prides in.
One is growing in the virgin forest of Dahei Mountain of Menghai County. It is 34 meters high with a circumference of 3.3 meters and a diameter of about 1 meter. It’s estimated that the tea plant has been living for least 1,700 years and is till in good shape. Its tea leaves contain a catechuic acid (catechin) percentage of 46, much higher than that of nurtured teas, thus are claimed to be fairly effective for hypertension and even cancers.
The other one is found in Nannuo Mountain which is also in Menghai County and is one of the six great mountains of Pu’er tea output. It’s only 5.4 meters high with the largest range being 11 by 10. The main trunk has a diameter of 1.4 meters. Planted in the Song Dynasty, it has been living for more than 800 years, and its tea leaves contain a catechuic acid percentage of 30. So far, it still bears excellent leaves to make tea.