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LEARN: About Time Traveller (The Black Tea Made from Ancient Tree Leaves)

Posted by Pedro Villalon on

Pu Er drinkers are familiar with leaves from ancient trees, often called ‘gushu’ (the Pinyin transliteration of 古树, in simplified Chinese or 古樹 in traditional characters).  

While enjoying these teas, we sometimes lose perspective of just how old those trees are.

Considering that throughout the lifetime of these trees, from back when they were saplings (long before the French Revolution and the drafting of the Constitution of the US) to now, the tea harvested could feasibly have been enjoyed by the likes of Napoleon, Washington, Marie Curie, Gandhi, or Serena Williams (assuming that all those folks would be interested in finding good tea, of course)!

Ancient tea trees in Yunnan are usually processed as Pu Er, be it raw (oftentimes using the best leaves) or cooked.
In this case, Gao and Fan did not stick to tradition; they processed ancient tree leaves as black (oxidized) tea.
Origin: Lincang (临沧) is located in the southwest of Yunnan Province. Traditionally, it is home to the Wa nation (one of Yunnan’s many ethnic minorities), closely related to Burmese people. It is irrigated by the Lancang River, also called the Mekong.

Authors: Fan Xiuli and Gao Feng are featured often in our newsletters. They are Manchu people from Liaoning who moved to Yunnan because they love tea; it is also a most beautiful place to live and raise a family. Not only do they create some of O5’s favourite teas; they are also very well versed in painting, calligraphy, incense appreciation, ceramics, and culinary arts.   
Left: The youngest Gao, pictured in 2019, immersing himself in tea culture. These days, he is quite skilled at pouring tea, gong fu style. 

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