As more of what we know about pu-erh is added to share with you, we are slowly expanding our list of vocabulary. If you find any words missing in this list, give us a shout:

 

a

 

AINI / 爱伲

Distributed mainly in Xishuangbanna prefecture, Aini is a subdivision of the Hani ethnic group. Population is approximately 190,000.

 

b

 

BAISHA XIYUE / 白沙细乐

Literally means “Baisha fine music”, it is one of the two surviving forms of Naxi traditional music. Baisha is a town located 10 km north of Lijiang city.

BANNA / 版纳

Means “administrative regions” in the Dai language.

BAWAI / 坝歪

One of the five naturally formed villages governed by the administrative village known as Bingdao Cunweihui.

BAYANLENG / 叭岩冷

A heroic leader from Bulang ethnic group in Jingmai Mountain region.

BAZI / 坝子

A regional flatland on Yunnan-Guizhou (or Yun-Gui) Plateau.

BING / 饼

Tea being pressed by hand or machine into shape of a flat cake.

BINGDAO / 冰岛

Located in Shuangjiang County in Yunnan province, Bingdao is a village renowned in the Yunnan tea industry. Bingdao is the Thai pronunciation of the name of the village and can be pronounced as “Biandao” as well.

BULANG / 布朗

Bulang (Blang or Bulong) is an ethnic group of population of approximately 120,000 and distributed in the villages of Menghai and Shuangjiang counties in Yunnan Province. The Bulang is the descendants of an ancient tribe known as Pu (濮).

 

c

 

CHA / 茶

Tea.

CHADAO LIU JUNZI / 茶道六君子

The “six-piece utensil set for tea ceremony”, which includes a spoon, a funnel, a needle, a scraper, a pair of tongs and a holder.

CHAFA / 茶法

Tea law.

CHASHAN / 茶山

Tea mountain.

CHELI-XUANWEISI / 车里宣慰司

Xishuangbanna was named as Cheli-Xuanweisi before 1729. After the Gaitu Guiliu of 1729, this region is renamed as Pu’er Fu.

CHENGDU / 成都

The provincial capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China.

CUNWEIHUI / 村委会

Village committee.

 

d

 

DAI / 傣

With a population of 1,200,000, the Dai people primarily live in Xishuangbanna. The Dai living within China belongs to a larger Dai ethnic group that also lives in Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.

DALI / 大理

Dali is a county-level city in northwestern Yunnan province.

DAYE ZHONG / 大叶种

Refers to camellia sinensis var. assamica, it literally means big-leaved variety in Chinese

DIJIE / 地界

One of the five naturally formed villages governed by the administrative village known as Bingdao Cunweihui.

DONG BANSHAN / 东半山

Geographical feature of Mengku town is characterized by two mountains, one river and one flatland; Nanmeng river flows in between Ma’an and Bangma mountains. Ma’an mountain sits on the east-bank of river - the locals prefer calling it Dong Banshan, meaning east-bank mountain. Similarly, Bangma mountain is known as Xi Banshan (west-bank mountain) as it is located on the west-bank.

 

 

e

 

E'ERTAI / 鄂尔泰

Full name Silin-gioro Ortai, 1677-1745 AD, belongs to the Bordered Blue Banner of Man ethnic group, appointed as governor-general of Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi Tri-province by Yongzheng Emperor in 1727.

 

f

 

FU / 府

An administrative region established in early Tang dynasty. Area under a Fu’s jurisdiction is similar to present day’s county.

 

g

 

GAITU GUILIU / 改土归流

Initiated by E’ertai (Ortai) in 1727 and completed in 1729, it is the replacement of Cheli-Xuanweisi’s native chieftains with imperial officials.

GEDENG / 革登

With an area of approximately 150 sq km, Gedeng Tea Mountain sits between Yibang and Mangzhi Tea Mountains. Gedeng is a word in the Bulang language, meaning a high place. Gedeng is recognized as one of the Six Great Ancient Tea Mountains in Xishuangbanna.

GONGDAO BEI / 公道杯

Literally means “justice cup” in Mandarin, Gongdao Bei is often used for tea tasting where steeped tea is poured in it and then served into the individual tasting cups. This prevents over-steeping of the leaves and ensures that each person drinks the same batch of steeped tea, thus the name “justice cup”.

 

h

 

HANI / 哈尼

With a population of 760,000, Hani is a minority group recognized in China and Laos. The majority of Hani people live near the Chinese and Vietnamese borders.

HANTINGFA / 罕廷发

The 2nd generation chief of Dai ethnic group in Shuangjiang (or Mengmeng).

HANZHUANGFA / 罕庄发

The 2nd generation chief of Dai ethnic group in Shuangjiang (or Mengmeng).

 

i

 

I

 

j

 

JINGHONG / 景洪

The capital city of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.

JINGMAI / 景迈

Jingmai Mountain locates near Pu’er city, bordering Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture and Myanmar (Burma).

JINUO / 基诺

Also known as Jino, is an ethnic group mainly residing in Yunnan province. It has a population of 22,000.

 

k

 

KUNLU / 困鹿

Kunlu Mountain locates within Ning’er county and onced produced tea for royal use during the Qing dynasty. Kun means “valley” in Dai minority group’s language and lu means "sparrow", together Kunlu means a valley inhabited with sparrows. 

KUNMING / 昆明

The capital and largest city in Yunnan province. It spans approximately 21,501 sqkm and has a population of 3,100,000

 

l

 

LAHU / 拉祜

Also known as Ladhulsi or Kawzhawd, Lahu is an ethnic group recognized in China and Vietnam. Population of Lahu is 720,000. 

LANCANG / 澜沧

An autonomous county governed by Pu’er city in Yunnan. The county is mainly occupied by Lahu ethnic group.

LAO HUANGPIAN / 老黄片

Literally meaning “old yellow leaves” in Chinese, Laohuangpian is the name of pu-erh tea pressed from bigger leaves filtered out through the production process.

LAOMAN'E / 老曼峨

The largest and oldest village occupied by the Bulang ethnic group on Bulang Mountain in Menghai county.

LAO SHENGCHA / 老生茶

Literally meaning “old raw tea”, Laoshengcha is used to describe the mature pu-erh tea produced from over 30 years of natural fermentation.

LAOZHAI / 老寨

An old stockaded village.

LIANG / 两

A Chinese unit of weight, equivalent to 50 grams.

LIJIANG / 丽江

A prefecture-level city located in northwest Yunnan province, it is famous for Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO heritage site.

LINCANG / 临沧

A prefecture-level city located in southwestern Yunnan province.

 

m

 

MAHEI / 麻黑

Mahei is the name of a village locates in Yiwu Tea Mountain.

MANGNUO / 忙糯

A village located in southeastern Shuangjiang county, Lincang city, Yunnan province.

MANGZHI / 莽枝

Mangzhi Tea Mountain sits adjacent to Gedeng Tea Mountain. The Dai, Bulang, Hani and Wa tribes had be living and growing tea in Mangzhi for more than a thousand years, hence it is recognized as one of the Six Ancient Tea Mountains.

MANZHUAN / 蛮砖

Bordering Yiwu Tea Mountain on the east and Yibang Tea Mountain on the north, Manzhuan Tea Mountain has a few centuries of history of tea production. Manzhuan is recognized as one of the Six Ancient Tea Mountains Mountains. Area of Manzhuan Tea Mountain is approximately 300 sq km.

MAOCHA / 毛茶

The named given to preliminary processed fresh large-leaved tea. The preliminary process includes withering, roasting, rolling and sun-drying.

MENGHAI / 勐海

A county in Xishuangbanna prefecture, Yunnan province.

MENGLA /  勐腊

A county in Xishuangbanna prefecture, Yunnan province.

MENGKU / 勐库

A town in Shuangjiang county, Lincang city, Yunnan province.

MENGMENG / 勐勐

Also called Shuangjiang, Mengmeng is a prefecture-level county governed by Lincang city in Yunnan province.

MIAO / 苗

Miao is an ethnic group mainly living in southwestern provinces such as Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi.

MING / 明

Ming dynasty, 1368-1644 AD.

MU / 亩

A Chinese unit of area, equivalent to 666.66 sq meter, or 0.164 acre. 

 

n

 

NANMEI / 南美

A village in Lincang city occupied by the Lahu ethnic group.

NANMENG / 南勐

Nanmeng River flows through Nanmei village and Mengku town, hence the name “Nan-Meng”. The five naturally-formed villages of Bingdao Cunweihui are divided by it into Xibanshan (west-bank mountain) and Dongbanshan (east-bank mountain). Among them, Bingdao Laozhai, Nanpo and Dijie belongs to Xibanshan; Nuowu and Bawai are parted to Dongbanshan.

NANPO / 南迫

One of the five naturally formed villages governed by the administrative village known as Bingdao Cunweihui.

NAXI / 纳西

Also named Nakhi, is an ethnic group residing in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces .Population of Naxi is 300,000.

NING'ER / 宁洱

Ning’er county is located in Pu’er city region in southern Yunnan. Kunlu mountain is located 31 km northeast of Ning’er.

NUOWU / 糯伍

One of the five naturally formed villages governed by the administrative village known as Bingdao Cunweihui.

 

o

 

ORTAI / 鄂尔泰

Full name Silin-gioro Ortai, 1677-1745 AD, belongs to the Bordered Blue Banner of Man ethnic group, appointed as governor-general of Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi Tri-province by Yongzheng Emperor in 1727.

 

p

 

PINMING BEI / 品茗杯

Tea tasting cup.

PU / 濮

Pu is an ancient tribe residing in Menghai and Shuangjiang counties in Yunnan. Its descendants are known as the Bulang people.

PU'ER / 普洱

According to the official definition of pu-erh tea released by Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Standards in March 2003, pu-erh tea is "sourced from large-leaved camellia sinensis from several regions within Yunnan province, produced by post-fermentation and presented in loose or compressed forms”. Pu’er is also the name of a prefecture-level city in southern Yunnan province, the city is formally called Simao.

PU'ER FU / 普洱府

Xishuangbanna’s was known as Cheli Xuanweisi before 1729, and as Pu’er Fu from 1729 to 1913.

 

q

 

QING / 清

Qing dynasty, 1644-1912 AD.

QIZI BING / 七子饼

The central government of Qing established Yunnan Chafa (Yunnan Tea Law) in 1735, which specifically regulated the form, weight, packaging of pu-erh tea for ease of transaction and taxation in local sales and export trades. The law specified the traded tea in Yunnan to be 7 liang (equivalent to 50 grams) per bing (cake), and 7 bing stacked for 1 tong (a tube composed of stacked pu-erh cakes wrapped by bamboo sheath); hence the name.

 

r

 

R

 

s

 

SHANG / 商

Shang dynasty, 1600-1046 BC.

SHENG / 生

Literally meaning “raw”, Sheng is used to describe pu-erh tea that hasn’t undergone any type of fermentation or aging.

SHOU / SHU / 熟

Literally meaning “ripe”, Shou is used to describe pu-erh tea produced from catalyzed fermentation. The catalyzed fermentation involves creating a hot environment with a very high relative humidity, which greatly accelerate the aging of the leaves.

SHUANGJIANG / 双江

Also called Mengmeng, Shuangjiang is a prefecture-level county governed by Lincang city in Yunnan province.

SHUNNING / 顺宁

Shunning Fu, a county-sized administrative region established in 1327 during Yuan dynasty and abolished in 1913.

SIMAO / 思茅

Known as Simao city before 2007 and Pu’er city after. Simao (Pu’er) city also governs a district under the same name that was once the starting point of the historic tea-horse route.

SIX GREAT ANCIENT TEA MOUNTAINS / 古六大茶山

Six Great Ancient Tea Mountains play a significant role in the birth and evolution of Pu-erh tea. The six mountains include: Yibang, Yiwu (Mansa), Youle, Gedeng, Mangzhi and Manzhuan.

 

t

 

TEA-HORSE ROAD / 茶马道

An ancient pathway where Yunnan black tea and Tibetan horses were long traded on.

TENGTIAO / 藤条

Cane or rattan, a tropical climbing plant with thin and tough stems that can be used as a material for making wicker furniture.

TIANBAI / 甜白 / 填白

White porcelain first appeared during the Yongle era (1403 - 1424) in Ming dynasty. It is still produced in Jingde Zhen (the town of Jingde), a prefecture-level city located in northeastern Jiangxi province. Tianbai porcelains are famous for its semi-bodied thickness and eggshell-like luster.

TONG / 筒

A tube composed of stacked pu-erh cakes wrapped by bamboo sheath.

TUO / 沱

Mushroom-shaped pu-erh pressed by hand or machine. A Tuo looks like a round bun from the top and a thick-walled bowl from the bottom.

TUSI / 土司

Chief of various ethnic groups in northwestern and southwestern China.

 

u

 

U

 

v

 

V

 

w

 

WA / 佤

An ethic group that lives mainly in northern Burma’s Shan state and China’s Yunnan province.

WANG SHUJI / 王书记

Director Wang.

WULIANG / 无量

Once known as Mengle mountain, Wuliang mountain is located in southwestern Yunnan. Due to the large differences of altitude, climate and geographical features, teas from this region have very diverse flavours. Wuliang mountain has been supplying for the famous Xiaguan and Nanjian tea factories for decades.

 

x

 

XI BANSHAN / 西半山

Geographical feature of Mengku town is characterized by two mountains, one river and one flatland; Nanmeng river flows in between Ma’an and Bangma mountains. Ma’an mountain sits on the east-bank of river - the locals prefer calling it Dong Banshan, meaning east-bank mountain. Similarly, Bangma mountain is known as Xi Banshan (west-bank mountain) as it is located on the west-bank.

XISHUANGBANNA / 西双版纳

Xishuangbanna is an autonomous prefecture located in Yunnan Province, China. It is composed of Jinghong (capital city), Mengla County and Menghai Country. The unique geographical location and climate making it the only tropical forest reserve in China, as well as the birthplace of world’s tea plants.

XUANWEI SI / 宣慰司

An ancient Chinese administrative division in charge of both military and civilian in local region. Level of Xuanweisi’s administration function sits between county and province.

XUANWEI SHI / 宣慰使

The administrator of Xuanwei Si, usually taken up by government officials dispatched by central government or chieftains from local ethnic groups.

 

y

 

YAO / 瑶

An ethnic group residing in the mountainous terrain of southern and southwestern China, as well as parts of Vietnam.

YI / 彝

The Yi or Lolo people is the seventh largest ethnic groups of China. They live primarily in rural areas of southwestern provinces such as Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi.

YIN JISHAN / 尹继善

The governor of Yunnan-Guizhou provinces during Yongzhe era of Qing dynasty. He proposed the tea regulations to Yongzheng emperor, whom approved and established Yunnan Tea Law in 1735.

YIBANG / 倚邦

Bordering Manzhuan, Gedeng and Yiwu Tea Mountains, Yibang Tea Mountain locates at the northest in Mengla County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Area of the mountain is approximately 360 sq km. Yibang is recognized as one of the Six Ancient Tea Mountains in Xishuangbanna Prefecture.

YIWU / 易武

Yiwu Tea Mountain locates close to the Chinese and Laos borders. With an area of 750 sq km, it is the largest in the Six Great Ancient Tea Mountains. Yiwu is also called as Yiwu Tea Region for its vast area. Yiwu Zhengshan, Mansa and Manla Tea Mountains are all part of the Yiwu Tea Region. 

YIXING / 宜兴

A city located in southern Jiangsu province. It is famous for traditional Yixing clay and the pottery made it, namely Zisha teapots.

YONGLE / 永乐

The town of Jingde was appointed to produce official ware during Yongle era (1403 - 1424) of Ming dynasty, thus the kiln in the town was known as Yongle kiln.

YONGZHENG / 雍正

The fifth emperor of Qing dynasty, ruled during 1722 – 1735.

YOULE / 攸乐

Youle Tea Mountain is recognized as one of the Six Great Ancient Tea Mountains in Xishuangbanna. It is located in Jinghong City, bordering Gedeng and Mangzhi Tea Mountains.

YUNNAN / 云南

Meaning “south of clouds” in Chinese, Yunnan is a province in China, located in the far southwest of the country. It spans approximately 394,000 sq km and has a population of 46,000,000. The capital city is Kunming. 

 

z

 

ZHAI / 寨

A stockaded village.

ZHAN / 盏

A small bowl used for drinking tea.

ZHENGDONG / 整董

Zhengdong means “big place” in Dai language, it is a town in Jiangcheng county, Pu’er city.

ZHUAN / 砖

Tea being pressed by hand or machine into shape of a brick.

ZIRAN CUN / 自然村

Naturally formed village occupied by closely related villagers.

ZISHA HU / 紫砂壶

Literally means "purple clay pot". These famous teapots are made with Yixing clay in the city of Yixing in southern Jiangsu province.

 

 
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