Suancha, or sauertea, is a tea made with the fresh, young leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. To make the suancha, the collected leaves are put into a bamboo jar with water, which is then stored under the soil, preferably near the cool valley of a riverbank. After a few weeks, the leaves are dried in the sun and processed with a mix of Bulang chili and wild lemon or other fruit juice. Mountain tribes in the northern Mekong region plant tea trees among the forest. Tea is an important part of daily life, used for drinks and also eaten as a vegetable. Originally, it was used as a tribute to the ancestor of the Bulang minority, worshiped as the frist person to discover this species. Today in China, suancha is made in Mangjing village in Puer city, in the Yunnan region of southern China. It is not sold on the market, but made by the tribe for festivals and events. Because ritualistic traditions are less appreciated and practiced by younger generations, suancha is at risk of disappearing. Although the Camellia sinensis tea plant is widely known, this special type of processing and preserving tea leaves is at risk of extinction.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.
|Nominated by:||Li Minguo|