Douji has over 8 pre-production factories in Yunnan at the moment (2 more is coming soon) and all these pre-production factories are located in high mountains. These high mountains are famous for growing old tea trees as they are over 1600+ meters above sea level (elevation). On our journey to Yunnan to understand the brand Douji, we had travelled more than 5 hours each day to visit their pre-production factories. We had pass through 6 different mountains and more than 10 different areas. We had travel through quite a lot of areas within the last couple days and I can say only Douji is crazy enough to open so many pre-production factories. If I recall correctly, I only see one pre-production factory for Haiwan and one for Chen Xing.
Most of the puerh factories don’t have such pre-production factories because building one on top of the high mountain is very expensive. Furthermore, keeping it running only a little time during the year is too costly for many puerh factories. As Douji only receive fresh tea leaves during the spring time, Douji’s pre-production factories are only open between March and April for the production of spring puerh tea. Douji has tried to produce puerh tea using autumn tea leaves before but Mr. Chen Sheng Biao thinks that spring tea is much better both in aroma and quality and as a result, he decided to give up on producing autumn tea.
Once they finish harvesting, all of the tea leaves within that specific mountain will be taken back to its pre-production factory in the area for withering, fixation, rolling and sunning. According to Mr. Chen Sheng Biao, each pre-production factory can process up to 3 ton of fresh leaves each day. After all the pre-production process had been finish, the dry tea leaves will be taken back to Douji’s main factory in Meng Song for compressing into cakes or bricks than packing.
Douji only uses small or large old tea trees tea leaves for their puerh tea. They don't use tea garden tree's tea leaves. The small or large old tea trees grow on top of the mountain in a naturally wide open area which allows the tree to absorb all the food it needs to grow. As for the tea garden tea trees, it grows on a crowded low ground environment, which means they will need to fight for food. Tea garden tea trees use fertilizer to speed up the growing progress, small or large old tea trees are natural and they don’t need to feed fertilizer for them to grow. The tea garden tree leaves usually looks darker compare to the small or large old tea tree leaves, tea leaves size are smaller and have less buds on it as well. If you compare a Douji brand’s tea cake with some other brand’s tea cake, you can easily tell the difference between the tea cakes right away. You will be able to identify which one is Douji and which one is not.
Almost all puerh company purchase finished dry tea leaves directly from suppliers or farmers and pressed them into cakes afterward. This way, it is almost impossible to control the quality of the teas. Finished dry tea leaves purchase from different suppliers and farmers might have different way of processing during the pre-production period. The tea leaves might be burnt, have broken leaves, or the tea leaves itself is too old.
A Photo taken inside Nan Nuo Mountain!
A Photo of Douji's Pre-Production Factories.
Including Lao Man Er, Meng Song, He Kai, Youle, Nan Nuo, Pa Sai.
A Photo of Douji's Production Line.
A Photo of puerh tea trees.
First: Tea Garden
Second & Third: Small Tea Trees
Forth: Big/Old Tea Trees