Yunnan black tea varietal = Darjeeling varietal?


"Yunnan Imperial known ... as Dianhong... from Fengqing county, Yunnan ... is made from the same variety of tea plant as found in Darjeeling"
?
i haven't tried to go beyond Indian teas are var. assamica, Chinese teas are var. sinensis. ...
Reply to
SN
First the contradictions: 1. Some argue Assamica and Sinensis are two different varieties. Some argue they are the same. Some argue Sinensis is the original. Some argue Assamica is the original. Could be true: 1. British smuggled Chinese tea varieties and planted in Darjeeling. They failed. They successfully used Assamica var in Darjeeling. Jim > "Yunnan Imperial known ... as Dianhong... from Fengqing county, > Yunnan ... is made from the same variety of tea plant as found in > Darjeeling" > > ? > > i haven't tried to go beyond Indian teas are var. assamica, Chinese > teas are var. sinensis. ...
Reply to
netstuff
SN writes: > "Yunnan Imperial known ... as Dianhong... from Fengqing county, > Yunnan ... is made from the same variety of tea plant as found in > Darjeeling" > > ?
"Variety" is an extremely slippery word. I'm not sure what the author means by this without more context.
Also, it occurs to me that this may be a reference to the story that the tea bushes of Darjeeling descend from the Chinese seeds "stolen" in the 19th century. That's only a partial truth: lots of good DJ tea is grown from descendants of Assam plants.
/Lew --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Reply to
Lewis Perin
Let me share what I know. The Britishers first tried to established Tea Plantations in Assam using seeds and plants imported from China, inspite of having knowledge of the indegenous Assamica variety growing in the area. The experiments were a failiure. Finally better sense prevailed and Assamica variety was propagated in Assam, Dooars and Terai, sucessfully. The rest is history. However, ever in search of new areas for starting Tea Plantations, when the Britishers tried planting in higher altitudes of Darjeeling hills, Assamica variety failed to establish. They then experimented with the chinary variety, mostly brought in from the Yunnan province. It not only established very well in the hills, but gave Teas of astounding aroma and taste. Even better than the quality originally obtained from these plants in China. The rest is once again, history. Tea Cheers! Jayesh S Pandya. > SN writes: > > "Yunnan Imperial known ... as Dianhong... from Fengqing county, > > Yunnan ... is made from the same variety of tea plant as found in > > Darjeeling" > > > ? > > "Variety" is an extremely slippery word. =A0I'm not sure what the author > means by this without more context. > > Also, it occurs to me that this may be a reference to the story that > the tea bushes of Darjeeling descend from the Chinese seeds "stolen" > in the 19th century. =A0That's only a partial truth: lots of good DJ tea > is grown from descendants of Assam plants. > > /Lew > --- > Lew Perin / pe...@acm.org
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Reply to
teapandya
teapandya writes: > Let me share what I know. > [...] > However, ever in search of new areas for starting Tea Plantations, > when the Britishers tried planting in higher altitudes of Darjeeling > hills, Assamica variety failed to establish. They then experimented > with the chinary variety, mostly brought in from the Yunnan province. > It not only established very well in the hills, but gave Teas of > astounding aroma and taste. Even better than the quality originally > obtained from these plants in China.
Are you saying that Darjeeling-grown tea is better than any tea grown in Yunnan?
Are you saying that all Darjeeling-grown tea is descended from the China seeds?
/Lew --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Reply to
Lewis Perin
> > Are you saying that Darjeeling-grown tea is better than any tea grown > in Yunnan? Yes, to a Darjeeling tea devotee this is so. Vice versa for a Yunnan devotee. Likewise a Bangladeshi tea is better if that's what you prefer. > > Are you saying that all Darjeeling-grown tea is descended from the > China seeds?
Yes, for all high elevation Darjeeling (and that's most of it) this is so, or at least was until the 1970s when some import of external tea germ plasm began for breeding purposes and clonal selection. However the vast majority of Darjeeling planting is derived from the original source - China seed - and some of those bushes are 100 years plus.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel
Nigel writes: > > [...] > > Are you saying that all Darjeeling-grown tea is descended from the > > China seeds? > > Yes, for all high elevation Darjeeling (and that's most of it) this is > so, or at least was until the 1970s when some import of external tea > germ plasm began for breeding purposes and clonal selection. However > the vast majority of Darjeeling planting is derived from the original > source - China seed - and some of those bushes are 100 years plus.
I'm afraid I have no idea what the situation was before the '70s. And whether bushes with non-China genes are used more at lower DJ elevations I don't know, either. But I remember hearing quite clearly from the lips of a Darjeeling planter that some of the best DJ teas have an Assam heritage. This was four years ago in Darjeeling.
/Lew --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Reply to
Lewis Perin
> I'm afraid I have no idea what the situation was before the '70s. =A0And > whether bushes with non-China genes are used more at lower DJ > elevations I don't know, either. =A0But I remember hearing quite clearly > from the lips of a Darjeeling planter that some of the best DJ teas > have an Assam heritage. =A0This was four years ago in Darjeeling. >
Well, I guess it depends how you mean 'heritage'. I understand Obama has Irish heritage, be it ever so dilute. Remember that a good number of Darjeeling planters have Assam heritage themselves and likely will relish a trace in their bushes. It's for sure however that an assamica type bush will not withstand temperatures below about 36 deg F - and Darjeeling hills get considerably colder than that in the winter.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel
Nigel writes: > > I'm afraid I have no idea what the situation was before the '70s.  And > > whether bushes with non-China genes are used more at lower DJ > > elevations I don't know, either.  But I remember hearing quite clearly > > from the lips of a Darjeeling planter that some of the best DJ teas > > have an Assam heritage.  This was four years ago in Darjeeling. > > > > Well, I guess it depends how you mean 'heritage'. I understand Obama > has Irish heritage, be it ever so dilute. Remember that a good number > of Darjeeling planters have Assam heritage themselves and likely will > relish a trace in their bushes. That makes sense, but this planter is a Marwari. > It's for sure however that an assamica type bush will not withstand > temperatures below about 36 deg F - and Darjeeling hills get > considerably colder than that in the winter.
So you're saying that the DJ clones that result from sexual crossing between China-seed and Assam bushes must have a vanishingly small proportion of Assam genome, right?
But wait a minute! It's been asserted in this thread that the original China seeds were from the same Yunnan cultivar used (now, not in the 19th century) for Yunnan black (Dian Hong) finished tea. But this cultivar (big leaf or Da Ye) is often labeled assamica. And a lot of the places where this cultivar is grown in Yunnan are considerably warmer than high altitudes in Darjeeling. This can't all be true, can it?
/Lew --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Reply to
Lewis Perin
Lew, tea taxonomy is less than straightforward. Rather than repeat what I have written before on Yunnan heritage, please check r.f.d.t archives Sept 29 2008 and Nov 6 2007 using search word "macrophylla". If these do not satisfy your questions then I am happy to continue discussion. Nigel at Teacraft > > > I'm afraid I have no idea what the situation was before the '70s. =A0= And > > > whether bushes with non-China genes are used more at lower DJ > > > elevations I don't know, either. =A0But I remember hearing quite clea= rly > > > from the lips of a Darjeeling planter that some of the best DJ teas > > > have an Assam heritage. =A0This was four years ago in Darjeeling. > > > Well, I guess it depends how you mean 'heritage'. =A0I understand Obama > > has Irish heritage, be it ever so dilute. =A0Remember that a good numbe= r > > of Darjeeling planters have Assam heritage themselves and likely will > > relish a trace in their bushes. > > That makes sense, but this planter is a Marwari. > > > It's for sure however that an assamica type bush will not withstand > > temperatures below about 36 deg F - and Darjeeling hills get > > considerably colder than that in the winter. > > So you're saying that the DJ clones that result from sexual crossing > between China-seed and Assam bushes must have a vanishingly small > proportion of Assam genome, right? > > But wait a minute! =A0It's been asserted in this thread that the > original China seeds were from the same Yunnan cultivar used (now, not > in the 19th century) for Yunnan black (Dian Hong) finished tea. =A0But > this cultivar (big leaf or Da Ye) is often labeled assamica. =A0And a > lot of the places where this cultivar is grown in Yunnan are > considerably warmer than high altitudes in Darjeeling. =A0This can't all > be true, can it? > > /Lew > --- > Lew Perin / pe...@acm.org
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Reply to
Nigel
Nigel writes: > Lew, tea taxonomy is less than straightforward. Rather than repeat > what I have written before on Yunnan heritage, please check r.f.d.t > archives Sept 29 2008 and Nov 6 2007 using search word "macrophylla". > If these do not satisfy your questions then I am happy to continue > discussion.
Thanks very much for the pointer. So the Yunnan big leaf cultivar isn't C. sinensis var. assamica, it's C. sinensis var. sinensis f. macrophylla. (Is 'macrophylla' Greek for 'big leaf'? That would explain Greek "phyllo" pastry!)
Could you comment on the claim that the original China seeds were in fact from this cultivar?
/Lew --- Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
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Reply to
Lewis Perin

[lew] (Is 'macrophylla' Greek for 'big leaf'? =A0That would explain Greek "phyllo" pastry!)
[corax] yes. and 'chlorophyll' [green/yellow/fresh leaf']
Reply to
corax
. > So the Yunnan big leaf cultivar > isn't C. sinensis var. assamica, it's C. sinensis var. sinensis > f. macrophylla. > Could you comment on the claim that the original China seeds were in > fact from this cultivar? > The recorded history of Darjeeling tea relates only that the original few seeds planted in 1841 were from China stock - planted at 2,134 metres - 6,829 feet elevation. Yunnan derived Camellia sinensis var sinensis f. macropylla could certainly survive the high mountain conditions - Kunming itself is at 1,900 metres and parts of Yunnan top 4,000 metres. However, in my albeit limited experience of Darjeeling I know of no big leaved bushes there - only small tough bushes bearing small China 'jat' leaf - and typical of the bushes grown in most of China, particularly the colder winter areas. Recognising that "absence of evidence is no evidence of absence" we must seek amplification from Darjeeling planters as to whether in some corner there are any large leaf bearing bushes.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel

I wonder if there is not a confusion here. 'Big leaf' teas are made using large leaves from standard tea cultivars, not using the leaves of macrophylla, which is not adapted to tea-making. I will quote from information I recently received : "=A5=CA=C4=AA gualu is the Chinese name = for 'wild tea' or Thea (camellia) sinensis L var. macrophylla; (a.k.a. =AFo=C4= =AA gualu), a closely related variety of the domestic tea plant. Gualu is notable for its large leaves. It grows in southwestern Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, northern Burma, and eastern India. Gualu has sometimes been substituted for tea and makes a muddy-colored drink that is bitter and astringent. Like tea, gualu is a stimulant that causes sleeplessness."
Brother Anthony
Reply to
Brother Anthony
> I wonder if there is not a confusion here. 'Big leaf' teas are made > using large leaves from standard tea cultivars, not using the leaves > of macrophylla, which is not adapted to tea-making. I will quote from > information I recently received : "=A5=CA=C4=AA gualu is the Chinese nam= e for > 'wild tea' or Thea (camellia) sinensis L var. macrophylla; (a.k.a. =AFo= =C4=AA > gualu), a closely related variety of the domestic tea plant. Gualu is > notable for its large leaves. It grows in southwestern Fujian, > Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, northern Burma, and > eastern India. Gualu has sometimes been substituted for tea and makes > a muddy-colored drink that is bitter and astringent. Like tea, gualu > is a stimulant that causes sleeplessness." > > Brother Anthony
There is certainly confusion which I hope swiftly to dispel.
Botanically Camellia sinensis var. sinensis f. macrophylla is 100% tea as we know it. Much of the taxonomic classification of Camellia sinensis is based on leaf size and shape - Banajee describes 14 leaf attributes and only 4 flower attributes distinguishing China, Cambodia and Assam types - thus (in tea) leaf size is a powerful taxonomic indicator. I can though understand why wild growing Camellia sinensis var. sinensis f. macrophylla might be considered inferior in quality and distinuished as Guala - I have micro processed leaf from wild growing Assamica escapes and this too was bitter, muddy and thin. It has more to do with the highly shaded infertile conditions that these feral bushes endure - that give low levels of soluble solids and catechins in their leaf.
Taxonomically there is no "wild tea" or "cultivated tea". However, whether wild or tame, the species is certainly highly mixed - Visser considers that both wild teas and cultivated teas are hybrids - within and between each other "which poses special problems in tea systematics" - true enough! The current specific classification Camellia sinensis is attributable to Otto Kuntze who reclassified the genus Thea that had first been recognized and named by Carl Linnaeus. After a century of botanical in-fighting the two main varietiel subdivisions of Camellia sinensis i.e. Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica were proposed by Kitamura (in 1950) and Sealy (in 1958). The subvarieties (also known as fixed variants =3D f.) are Camellia sinensis var. sinensis f. parviflora (Sealy) - the typical Japanese small leaved tea bush and Camellia sinensis var. sinensis f. macrophylla (Kitamura) - the Yunnan big leaf tea bush. And whether that macrophylla be wild or cultivated, botanically it's tea.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel
I do not have the full records of Darjeeling tea history,which dates back from 1841, as per Nigel. The present siuation is that every Darjeeling garden has variety ASSAMICA as well as Sinensis and Hybrid plants and Clonal plants with varying %. Large leaf ASSAM varietal yields more than small leaf China varietal and for this reason even at high elevations, low yielding and aged sections having Chinary bushe,were uprooted and replanted with the Assam tea seeds/ bushes. Which type of plants to have in new areas or in uprooted and replantred areas of Darjeeling gardens was judiciously decided by the concerned persons considering various factors like yield, quality, elevation, soil etc etc. Drive by any road to Darjeeling town and , you can see many variety of tea bushes even on the road side .Further Darjeeling planters are very much hosopitable and they will show you the tea bushes of the type you want to see, if they have in their plantations. Drive to Darjeeling via Mirik and on roadside you will see Assam varierty of tea bushes belonging to Gaybari at low elevation and you will see some of the highest elevation Clonal tea bushe of Gopaldhara. And mind that 60 Hectares of Conal plantations of Gopaldhara though called CLONAL have come from cuttings of different mother bushes called clonal bushes and to find out the full history of the earlier generations is left to the historians of tea or old planters or tea research association etc... Hello Nigel, I requested you to see our Darjeeling gardens last time I met you in a Tea conference and my invitation stands but keep in mind that I will be crossing seventy years soon. From A marwari and Indian and owner/ planter of darjeeling garden and ....... and by name S. M. Changoiwala . > So the Yunnan big leaf cultivar > isn't C. sinensis var. assamica, it's C. sinensis var. sinensis > f. macrophylla. > Could you comment on the claim that the original China seeds were in > fact from this cultivar? > The recorded history of Darjeeling tea relates only that the original few seeds planted in 1841 were from China stock - planted at 2,134 metres - 6,829 feet elevation. Yunnan derived Camellia sinensis var sinensis f. macropylla could certainly survive the high mountain conditions - Kunming itself is at 1,900 metres and parts of Yunnan top 4,000 metres. However, in my albeit limited experience of Darjeeling I know of no big leaved bushes there - only small tough bushes bearing small China 'jat' leaf - and typical of the bushes grown in most of China, particularly the colder winter areas. Recognising that "absence of evidence is no evidence of absence" we must seek amplification from Darjeeling planters as to whether in some corner there are any large leaf bearing bushes. Nigel at Teacraft From: Nigel . > So the Yunnan big leaf cultivar > isn't C. sinensis var. assamica, it's C. sinensis var. sinensis > f. macrophylla. > Could you comment on the claim that the original China seeds were in > fact from this cultivar? > The recorded history of Darjeeling tea relates only that the original few seeds planted in 1841 were from China stock - planted at 2,134 metres - 6,829 feet elevation. Yunnan derived Camellia sinensis var sinensis f. macropylla could certainly survive the high mountain conditions - Kunming itself is at 1,900 metres and parts of Yunnan top 4,000 metres. However, in my albeit limited experience of Darjeeling I know of no big leaved bushes there - only small tough bushes bearing small China 'jat' leaf - and typical of the bushes grown in most of China, particularly the colder winter areas. Recognising that "absence of evidence is no evidence of absence" we must seek amplification from Darjeeling planters as to whether in some corner there are any large leaf bearing bushes. Nigel at Teacraft> > > Are you saying that all Darjeeling-grown tea is descended from the > > China seeds? > > Yes, for all high elevation Darjeeling (and that's most of it) this is > so, or at least was until the 1970s when some import of external tea > germ plasm began for breeding purposes and clonal selection. =A0However > the vast majority of Darjeeling planting is derived from the original > source - China seed - and some of those bushes are 100 years plus. > > Nigel at Teacraft "
Reply to
smchangoiwala

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