The history of tea dates back almost 5,000 years. According to Chinese legend, tea was first created in China in 2737 BC when dried leaves from a bush fell into Emporer Shennong's boiling water and infused. What began as a drink for Emperors, has now become ingrained in the culture of Chinese traditions.
Anhuilocated in the eastern portion of inland China, bordered by Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Hubei. Anhui has both flat and mountainous regions and its climate is more variable than coastal provinces. Most of the tea in Anhui is produced in the south, as the northernmost region of Anhui is unsuitable for growing tea. Anhui is famous for producing Keemun black tea, Huangshan Mao Feng, Tai Ping Hou Kui, Lu an Gua Pian, and Chun Mee tea.
Fujian is located on the southeast coast of China, and has a subtropical climate, with year-round rainfall. The majority of the province is mountainous and heavily covered in forest. Two areas of Fujian are famous for oolongs: Anxi in southern Fujian is the origin of tie guan yin, and Wuyi in the north is the origin of Da Hong Pao and many others.
Guangdong is located on the southern coast of China and is the most economically prosperous and most populated province. Guangdong is home to the phoenix mountains, best known as the origin of feng huang dancong oolongs. Guangdong is very humid year-round and ranges from subtropical at higher elevations to almost tropical near the ocean. Precipitation is seasonal, following the pattern of the Asian monsoon.
Hubeiis a landlocked province in central China. Hubei is subtropical with well-defined seasons. It is very humid, and rainfall follows a strong seasonal pattern like most of China, with the heaviest rainfall from May through July. Hubei borders Anhui to the east, and also produces Keemun, a style of black tea that originated and is primarily produced in Anhui. Hubei also produces a number of varieties of green tea.
Hunan meaning south of Dongting lake, is a landlocked province in China, located towards the southeast. Hunan has a humid subtropical climate, and borders other tea-producing provinces, including Guangxi to the southwest and Jiangxi to the east, and Hubei to the north. The most famous tea that originates from Hunan province is Junshan Yinzhen, a type of yellow tea, which originates from Junshan island located in the middle of Dongting lake.
Yunnan located in the south-western most province of China, is best known for Puerh tea. Yunnan’s mountainous topography provides a typically mild climate with heavy seasonal rainfall, with wet summers and dry winters. Yunnan also produces black teas (such as Dian hong) and is home to a large number of ancient tea trees, some in excess of 1000 years old.
Zhejiang Province is located on the east coast of China, just north of Fujian. It has a humid subtropical climate with distinct seasons and a high seasonal rainfall. Many important green teas originate from Zhejiang including dragon well (long jing) and gunpowder green tea.