China Tea

The tea regions of China refer to the areas where tea is produced, covering a total area of 1.1 million hectares. China has four major tea regions: Southwest Tea Region, South China Tea Region, Jiangnan Tea Region, and Jiangbei Tea Region.
These regions span widely: from the eastern coast of Taiwan Province at 122 degrees east longitude, to Yigong in Tibet Autonomous Region at 95 degrees east longitude; from Yulin in Hainan Island at 18 degrees north latitude, to Rongcheng City in Shandong Province at 37 degrees north latitude. They span 27 degrees of longitude and 19 degrees of latitude, encompassing 21 provinces (regions, municipalities) and 967 counties and cities where tea is produced.

Southwest Tea Region
The Southwest Tea Region is located in the southwestern part of China, including Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and southeastern Tibet, and is the oldest tea region in China. It boasts abundant tea plant varieties and produces various teas such as black tea, green tea, tuocha tea, pressed tea, and Pu’er tea. It is a major base for the development of large-leaf black teas.
The Yungui Plateau is the center of origin for tea trees. The terrain is complex, with varying altitudes within the same latitude zones, and there is significant climatic diversity. Most areas have a subtropical monsoon climate, with mild winters and non-sweltering summers. The soil conditions are suitable for tea tree growth; yellow soil predominates in Sichuan, Guizhou, and southeastern Tibet, with some brown soil, while Yunnan is mainly red soil and mountainous red soil. The organic matter content in the soil is generally richer compared to other tea regions.

South China Tea Region
The South China Tea Region covers the southern part of China, including Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, and Hainan provinces (regions), and is the most suitable area for tea tree cultivation in China. It hosts various types of tea tree varieties such as trees, shrubs, and bushes, and is rich in tea resources, producing teas like black tea, oolong tea, flower tea, white tea, and Liubao tea, characterized by large-leaf black teas with strong flavor.
Except for northern Fujian, northern Guangdong, and northern Guangxi, the average annual temperature ranges from 19°C to 22°C, with the lowest monthly average temperatures in January ranging from 7°C to 14°C. The tea-growing season spans more than 10 months, and the annual precipitation is the highest among China’s tea regions, generally ranging from 1200 to 2000 millimeters. Taiwan Province, in particular, has abundant rainfall, often exceeding 2000 millimeters annually. The region’s soil is mainly brick-red soil, with some areas also featuring red soil and yellow soil, with deep layers and rich organic matter content.

Jiangnan Tea Region
The Jiangnan Tea Region is located in the southern part of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in China, including Zhejiang, Hunan, and Jiangxi provinces, as well as southern Anhui, southern Jiangsu, and southern Hubei. It is the main tea production area in China, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the country’s total production. The region produces various types of tea such as green tea, black tea, dark tea, flower tea, and distinctive specialty teas such as West Lake Longjing, Huangshan Maofeng, Dongting Biluochun, Junshan Yinzhen, and Lushan Yunwu.
Tea gardens are mainly located in hilly areas, with some in higher altitude mountainous regions. These areas have distinct seasons, with an average annual temperature of 15°C to 18°C, and winter temperatures generally around -8°C. Annual precipitation ranges from 1400 to 1600 millimeters, with the highest rainfall occurring in spring and summer, accounting for 60% to 80% of the total annual precipitation, and dry conditions in autumn. The predominant soil type in the tea region is red soil, with some areas consisting of yellow soil or brown soil, and a few areas with alluvial soil.

Jiangbei Tea Region
The Jiangbei Tea Region is located on the northern bank of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Shandong provinces, as well as northern Anhui, northern Jiangsu, and northern Hubei. The Jiangbei Tea Region mainly produces green tea.
The region has an average annual temperature of 15°C to 16°C, with winter temperatures typically around -10°C. Annual precipitation is relatively low, ranging from 700 to 1000 millimeters, unevenly distributed, often causing drought stress on tea trees. The soil in the tea region is mostly yellow-brown soil or brown soil, representing a transitional type of soil between southern and northern China. However, certain mountainous areas have favorable microclimates, ensuring tea quality comparable to other tea regions, such as Liu’an melon slice tea and Xinyang Maojian tea.