The Ancient Tea Trees of China

The Ancient Tea Trees of China

Titans of Tea

When most folks think of tea plants, what comes to mind are waist-high little bushes.  Farmers do this intentionally, of course, pruning the plants so they stay at ideal plucking height.  What is not obvious, however, is how enormous tea can grow if left in the wild – and how old.

In the woods of the Yunnan province of China, specifically called "Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and the districts of Simao and Lincang" –  tea has been naturally growing wild far longer than it was recorded.  In fact, these “wild teas,” as they are called, are still growing in Yunnan to this day, with some as tall as trees – up to 30 feet! 

And even more bewildering, some of these tea trees are not just years old, or centuries old, but millennia old, with some as old as 3,200 years and has a trunk of about 6 ft across!  

These trees, being so enormous and impractical, are not very suitable for processing into a drinkable item – that is left to the more approachable, suited-to-mankind tea plants found on tea plantations.

It all sort of helps me to remember the Titans, who were the forebears of the Greek gods.  Old legend says that the Titans were thrown out by the Greek divine beings, who just so happened to be significantly more human-like in their personalities and physicality, forcing them to live in the deep abyss of Tartarus.

Hopefully these majestic ancient tea trees can live in peace for thousands of more years!


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