High mountain tea and lowland tea

By Emma Chang | 05 December 2018 | 0 Comments
As the saying goes: The high mountains are good for tea. It is caused by the superior ecological environment of the mountains. With the increase of altitude, the temperature drops, the precipitation increases, the humidity increases, and the tea tree grows in this cloud-filled, diffuse light-rich geographical environment. The conversion and accumulation of various chemical substances are conducive to the formation of tea quality. Direction development, slow carbon metabolism, less cellulose formation, tea buds and leaves can remain fresh for a long time. The polyphenolic substance which has a concentrated effect on the tea soup is less, and the amino acid content which plays a refreshing effect on the tea soup is relatively increased, creating a material condition in which the tea tastes fresh and sweet. At the same time, due to the enhanced nitrogen metabolism of tea trees, the types and contents of aromatic substances have also increased, laying a foundation for the formation of various aromas of tea.


Tea trees are native to the moist and rainy virgin forests in southwestern China. During the long-term growth and evolution, tea trees have formed habits of warmth, wetness and shade. As the altitude varies, the ecological environment of the tea tree is different. It is concentrated in the following three aspects:
  1. 1. Climate
Modern scientific research shows that the temperature varies with altitude. Generally, for every 100 meters above sea level, the temperature will drop by 0.5°C. The temperature determines the activity of the tea tree enzyme, which in turn affects the conversion and accumulation of tea chemicals. The analysis of the quality components of tea raw materials at different altitudes showed that tea polyphenols and catechins decreased with the increase of altitude, while amino acids increased with the increase of altitude. This provides a material basis for the refreshing taste of tea. In addition, many aromatic substances in tea also increase with altitude. These fragrant substances undergo complex chemical changes during the manufacturing process of tea, producing a fragrant aroma.
Second, it is the amount of rainfall. In general, in the mountains below 2000 meters above sea level, the rainfall increases with altitude. Studies have shown that in the case of sufficient water in the tea tree, the condensation of the saccharide compound formed by photosynthesis will be difficult, and the cellulose is not easily formed. Thus, the raw tea leaves can be kept fresh and not coarse in the long period of time.
  1. 2. Soil
The high mountain tea garden has different physical composition (particles) and chemical composition (fertility) than the lowland tea garden. Generally, high mountain tea gardens have more soil gravel and higher fertility, while lowland tea garden soils are more viscous and have lower fertility. As we all know, soil is the natural base for the growth of tea trees. The nutrients and water needed for tea trees are obtained from the soil. Therefore, the physical and chemical properties of the soil are closely related to the growth of tea trees. Modern study also shows that the high mountain tea garden soil is more complete, the soil permeability is good, and the organic matter and various mineral nutrients, including the large amount of elements and various trace elements required by the tea tree, are all available, so that the tea tree grows robustly, and the effective quality components of the tea tree and various health and nutrients are abundant; The lowland tea gardens are mostly red soil clays. Not only the soil is sticky, the structure is poor, and the organic matter and soil biological content are low. Therefore, the growth of tea trees is often poor, especially the tea aroma and taste are not as good as high mountain tea.
  1. 3. Vegetation
Compared with the lowland, high mountains have more trees than the latter. The luxuriant vegetation not only helps to regulate the air humidity, but also increases the ground coverage, thus improving the temperature and humidity conditions of the tea garden and increasing the soil fertility. More importantly, the illumination of the high mountain tea garden has reached the suitable conditions for the growth of tea trees. Modern research shows that although tea trees need a certain amount of light to carry out photosynthesis and manufacture organic matter, it is better to use weak light, especially more diffuse light. Because the high mountain tea garden is shaded by trees, the tea tree grows under the conditions of diffuse light, which has a profound impact on the biochemical changes of the organism, especially the increase of nitrogenous compounds, which is very beneficial to improve the quality of green tea.
From the above, it is not difficult to see that the quality characteristics of high mountain tea and lowland tea are as follows:
High mountain tea bud and leaves are strong, with long internodes, green color and many pekoe. The processed tea leaves are tightly knotted, fat, revealing aroma, rich flavor and strong resistance to brewing. The lowland tea leaves are small, the leaves are thin and flat, the leaves are yellow and green. The processed tea leaves are thinner, lighter, slightly lower in aroma.
The reason why high mountain tea is better than lowland tea is the result of the combined effects of high mountain climatic conditions, soil factors and vegetation, because the mountains have natural ecological conditions suitable for the growth of tea trees. In fact, the quality of the tea produced in a place with mild climate, abundant rainfall, high humidity, moderate light and fertile soil is better. To this end, people often use artificial methods to simulate the natural ecological environment of tea trees to improve the quality of tea.
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