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About the Camellia Assamica and Yunnan varieties

【Letter from Janey】:Oh, almost forgotten...I have a question. I know about the growing of tea etc, but I'm bit confused by this: everywhere I go, 'tea professionals' teaching about 2 different tea bushes yeah... camellia sinensis (from china, small leaf etc) and camellia assamica (indian type, big broad leaf..) now according to them sinensis thrive in misty hills while assamica in low lands. Well that’s nice but how about in yunnan? There is obviously assamica type growing in misty mountains? Hows that possible? Is that a clone or hybrid? Bit confused by that...do you know?

对了,我差点忘了。我还有一个关于茶树生长的问题。常常我被“专家”告之,中国的茶树品种CAMELLIA SINENSIS 适合生长在多雾的山上,而CAMELLIA ASSAMICA则在低海拔地区。云南大部分是阿萨姆种也是生长在多雾的山地吗?太不可思议了。他们是克隆的还是杂交的?我有些混淆了,您知道吗?关于云南大叶种和阿萨姆变种


Dear Janey,


Firstly Camellia Sinensis is a general name for all the tea varieties. There is hardly doubt now that the birthplace of tea is southwest of China, and Sinensis also means China in Latin, and Assamica is one of the varieties.

首先Camellia Sinensis是所有茶树品种的通用拉丁名,对于茶树原产于中国西南部,现在已经几乎无争议,而且sinensis就是中国的拉丁文解释,阿萨姆种只是茶树品种的一种。

Regarding Camellia Assamica(阿萨姆种), we used to call it Assamica because wild tea trees were found in Sydiya, Assam in 1820’s, and they were named Assamica possibly because of other political reasons as you may know. However, Camellia Assamica originated from Yunnan according to decades of research had done by famous botanists like Cai Xi Tao(蔡希陶), Zhang Hong Da(张宏达)。In China we call it 普洱茶种 instead of 阿萨姆种 in most cases.


Here in Yunnan, tea areas mainly range along the Tropic of Cancer and Lan Cang river, between north latitude 21°to 25°, with a huge range of altitude, starts about 500 meters, reaches to even over 3000 meters. Although most of the ancient tea mountains are surrounded with misty, cloudy, which is the ideal environment for tea, there are tea plantations from low altitude which produce refine tea, take Xi Gui(昔归) for example.

在云南,茶区主要位于北回归线附近,北纬 21°-25°之间,澜沧江两岸。海拔跨度则非常大,从大概500米开始,高至3000米。大部分茶山云雾缭绕,是茶树的理想生长地,但是仍然有优秀的茶山来自低海拔,如昔归。

And there are hybrids, and the most three famous are MengKu large-leaf varieties(勐库大叶种), MengHai large-leaf varieties(勐海大叶种) and FengQing large-leaf varieties(凤庆大叶种)。 Besides, there are other famous varieties by asexual ways, like YunKang series(云抗系列)。


Hopeful my letter is helpful, while we trust but meanwhile verified for all the information above.


【1】 破解阿萨姆茶源真相——张宏达的普洱茶研究2015-11-03 普洱杂志