Siam Tea Blog

Tea Cultivation in Northern Thailand – History and Development

While the world map of tea cultivation generally offers a rather stable appearance with little changes over the past centuries, a new spot had to be added to it just recently: Northern Thailand. Where opium fields dominated the mountainous terrain’s altitudes beyond 1000 m until about 20 years ago, making it an integral part of the infamous Golden Triangle, today a highly diversified variety of cash crops covers the slopes, among them fruit, nuts, vegetables , coffee, and, last but not least, tea. How Opium Fields turned Tea Gardens... Two factors played a key role in the initiation and development of the commercial cultivation and processing of high quality teas in Northern Thailand: 1. Thai Royal Projects 2. Ethnic Chinese Communities Especially Doi Mae Salong soon developed a broad spectrum portfolio of tea products, ranging from high quality Green Teas via Chinese and Taiwanese classic Oolong teas such as “4-Seasons Tea”, “Dong Ding Tea” and “Oriental Beauty” Tea and a range of scented or flavored teas, for which Jasmine Tea, Osmanthus Tea or Rice Tea, a particular Northern Thai/Shan areas specialty, might serve examples, to some herbal teas made from local herbs such as the Chinese “immortality herb” Jiaogulan and Safflower Tea. Just recently, Doi Mae Salong has even started producing a Black Tea that is often compared to a high quality Darjeeling by tea connoisseurs. READ MORE...

Doi Mae Salong – Center of Northern Thai Tea Cultivation

Venue Doi Mae Salong, Northern Thailand, in the heart of the Golden Triangle: it is 6 a.m., when Mrs. Sumalee lifts the roller shutters of her tea-shop, located at the main street of the town in the Northern Thai mountains that is populated exclusively by ethnic Chinese… Just little more than 20 years ago, the hills of Doi Mae Salong, whose slopes today show a picture of one tea garden besides the other, were still covered with opium fields. The inhabitants of the Chinese mountain enclaves in Northern Thailand, Doi Mae Salong and Doi Wawee, deprived of their main source of income made a virtue of necessity and bethought themselves of another, millennium-old Chinese tradition, the knowledge of the cultivation and processing of tea. READ MORE...

Doi Wawee

Doi Wawee is a very remote village in the mountains of Northern Thailand, located about 45 km west of Doi Mae Salong at an altitude of about 1500m above sea level. I had repeatedly received hints from private and Internet sources that maintained that, just like Doi Mae Salong, the resident community of the Chinese Kuomintang village of Doi Wawee grows tea on a larger scale... The town’s only accommodation option is the Laolee Hill Resort, run by a Chinese family that, as we learn later, does not only own most of the surrounding tea plantations, but also played a crucial role in the idea and realization of importing tea plants from Taiwan, and the subsequent years of development of Doi Wawee’s tea cultivation and distribution... The conversation soon turns to tea, and we hear a brief history of the tea cultivation at Doi Wawee, where, amongst other things, we learn that Doi Mae Salong, Doi Wawee’s larger Chinese “sister city” in Northern Thailand, was initially inspired to the cultivation and processing of tea by the Doi Wawee community... Visit of Doi Wawee’s tea plantations For a while, we climb about the tea slopes, where photographic tea plantation motifs and perspectives open up in abundance... Visit at the tea factory In front of the factory, large amounts of tea leaves are spread out for drying in the sun. Further piles of tea leaves are just about being evenly distributed on the ground... Teas from Doi Wawee... ...a branch of the tea-processing in Doi Wawee, which is unique for Northern Thailand: the production of Pu’er tea. Pu’er tea is a Green Tea, post-fermented over a longer period, non-oxidized and usually pressed... READ MORE...

Teas from Thailand NOW at Siam Tea Shop!

For your personal needs tea order please visit our Siam Tea Shop: Oolong Teas, Green Teas, Black Tea, naturally scented Teas, Herbal Teas, Jiaogulan Tea, Safflower Tea, Pu'er Tea, Shan Tea Product and Price Information for Resellers: Oolong No.12; Oolong No.17; 4-Season Oolong Tea; Dong Ding Oolong Tea; Beautiful Girl Oolong Tea; Oolong Tea, leaves; Oolong Tea, gunpowder; Green Tea; Green Tea, leaves; Green Tea, gunpowder; Black Tea; Black Tea, leaves; Black Tea, tea bags; Jasmine Tea, Rice Tea; Osmanthus Tea, Oolong Ginseng Tea, Jiaogulan Tea, Safflower Tea, Pu'er Tea, Shan Tea! READ MORE...

Project Shan Tea

Like so many good things, Project Shan Tea was born over a pot of tea... Help Without Frontiers is a German refugee aid organization that has dedicated its work and its commitment to alleviate the plight of ethnic Shan refugees and displaced persons from Burma. In this context, Help Without Frontiers conducts training and educational programs and initiatives to generate income, health, medical, nutritional and a number of other social projects... In Burma's border area with Thailand, where refugees and displaced people from Burma gather to seek a better life and fortune in escaping to Thailand... Where they come from, arson, rape, robbery and killings through Burma's military are the everyday agenda... Tea from the Shan states just sounded like a great idea, possibly another good and even rare tea specialty for the Sia Teas portfolio... Shan tea is a dark, not fully fermented tea that tastes like the land and soil, on which it grows. READ MORE...

Teas from North Thailand: Products and Species

Green Teas, Oolong Teas, Black Tea and (naturally) scented teas from Northern Thailand... Oolong teas are partially fermented teas of the "Camellia Sinensis"... The degree of fermentation varies between 8% and 85%. The origin of Oolong teas is China... From there, the cultivation of oolong teas spread further across South Asia: Japan, Taiwan, Korea (Guangdong), and more recently Northern Thailand. The tea plants for cultivation in Thailand were originally imported from Taiwan’s Alishan region... Green teas are unfermented teas of the "Camellia Sinensis" species... Black tea is fully oxidized or fermented tea... Northern Thailand produces a range of naturally scented Oolong and Green teas, to which natural aroma donors such as jasmine, Thai jasmine rice, ginseng or osmanthus flowers are added... Jiaogulan - "Gynostemma pentaphyllum" - the Chinese "Immortality Herb", is an herbaceous climbing plant that has earned itself a worldwide reputation as traditional Chinese "miracle" herb...health benefits... Oolong N°12, Oolong N°17, 4-Season Oolong Tea, Beautiful Girl Oolong Tea, Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, Osmanthus Tea, Ginseng Oolong Tea, Jasmine Tea, Rice Tea, Jiaogulan, Shan Tea... What we call Shan Tea is tea from a tea plant that has been native to the mountainous regions of Thailand and Burma for a long time.. grown by Shan farmers... READ MORE...

Journey to Doi Mae Salong

Destination of our journey is Doi Mae Salong... ...Chinese town high up in the Northern Thai highlands... The history of Doi Mae Salong ...the town was a sort of Chinese Wild West, living from the opium trade... The area today produces more than 200 t of tea a year and the quality particularly of the local Oolong Teas... Doi Mae Salong, Thailand, is just perfect for the cultivation of tea: altitude, landscape patterns, and climate... Oolong Teas, Green Teas, Jasmine Tea, rice-scented tea, 4-Season-Tee as well as Jiaogulan and Ginseng Teas... During the following factory visit and demonstration of the processing of the freshly harvested tea leaves... visit to the tea plantations... READ MORE...

Thai Tea – Tea cultivation in Thailand

In the area today forming the border region Northern Thailand/Burma, tea was already harvested from wild growth at a very early stage...The Kuomintang Army...Doi Mae Salong, a small, picturesque town, situated at an altitude of 1800 m above sea level...part of the legendary Golden Triangle...Royal Thai Tea Project...Tea cultivation at Doi Mae Salong...the opium cultivation in the mountain enclave being completely replaced by one of the cultivation of tea...more than 200 tons of tea annually, and the quality particularly of the locally grown Oolong teas, but also the Green Teas, and more recently Black Teas, for which the plants were originally imported from Taiwan....Doi Mae Salong provides just perfect conditions for tea growing...also produces tea scented with jasmine flowers, the Chinese "immortality herb" Jiaogulan, as well as Ginseng Tea and other scented teas like Rice Tea or Osmanthus Green Tea...Other Tea Cultivation Areas in Northern Thailand, especially the regions Doi Tung and Doi Chang...Tea cultivation in the Shan areas...The Shan call their plants 'Ning Lung'...ideal conditions for a particularly fine tea...Many Shan are from childhood on familiar with the cultivation of tea trees...benefit the Shan refugees via a percentage levy on the realized proceeds from the sale of ShanTea amounting to 20% of total sales..READ MORE...