What does a good tea garden has? Good scenery, like the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden has, is one crucial factor. Besides beautiful landscape, altitude, latitude, and average temperature are also important for tea plantation.
One of our tea garden is located in Mabian, southwest of China. Almost half amount of people living in Mabian are Yi minority. Some of them who stay in remote areas still keep some ancient traditions, such as fire worship and nature worship. The total 2034 km² of lands of Mabian contain over 1300km² of forests, some areas of which are designated as wild Panda protection zone. By far, Mabian, far from polluted big cities of China, has been an excellent environment for tea cultivation.
Mabian Yi Autonomous County
Mabian located at southwest of China, where the major residents are Yi minority. Mabian is far from major cities, so the damage of environment here is tiny. Nearly 100% soil and vegetation here are pollution-free.
The whole tea garden is in a valley, into which it takes near 4 hours to drive from the nearest town. After finishing a trek through those hilly roads that make you feel dizzy, you finally stamp on the ground of the tea garden. Then you look around and could see the sky reaching high cliffs around the whole valley:
"Those cliffs are just like natural defenses, crucial for protecting the tea garden from being hurt by outside pollutions and pests." The manager says. She is a 30-year-old young woman. After working in IBM for 7 years, she chose to go home and work in the tea garden.
"Pests are usually transferred by wind power. However, thanks to these cliffs, wind from outside can't do such thing."
unlike the bush growing on steep cliffs, the tea trees can be cultivated in a garden that gradually rises up, like terracing. When you walk on trails in the tea garden, you can see streams beside the trail and the water inside streams flowing down from upper place.
"The water comes down from those cliffs, cultivating the whole ecosystem insides the valley. Of course, we use these water to irrigate our plantation." The manager of the tea garden says.
"In the night, you will hear the croaking of the frogs, which is really, really loud here. Frogs can eat pests, their appetite is really big."
"Besides frogs, we raise chickens and goats. You know, since we never use herbicide or pesticide, we need some animals to cope with weeds and pests." The manager says.
Wait a minute. Do those goats eat tea leaves?
"You don't need to worry about this." The manager says.
“Goats are never interested in tea leaves, because those leaves are bitter and too tall for them to eat. Therefore, they only eat grass and weed." The manager says.
"Chickens eat pests and run in this garden the whole day, you know, relentless in finding pests to eat." She laughs and says.
Mabian, with an altitude of 1200 meters, an average annual temperature for 17.53° and an average annual rainfall for 973 millimeter, is one of the idealest places for tea cultivation. In addition, a utopia-like and 100% organic tea garden located at Mabian will produce tea leaves with superb quality.
Teadaw wishes you could close your eyes when you drink teas from Mabian, feeling it with your heart. Let the breeze from the plateaus on the southwest of China fresh your mind.