shah82 wrote:Certain areas of Yunnan have a very rich and minerally soil. It's generally the varietal (or general seedling character) + soil that makes the potent tea. Mengwang district Man Nuo or Bang Dong Xigui has mostly trees younger than 300 years, so far as I'm able to make out. Doesn't mean that they lack potency... I think much of the old tree phenomenon is simply that the people back then knew the best plots for tea groves.
That's a reasonable argument. I think the romanticism of the 'lone 9,000 year old tree on a cliff, which requires a 5 day journey from the nearest village' stories tend to overshadow a lot of the science, which has to do a fair amount with soil composition.
Not sure if anyone here has grown peppers before (hot peppers of any variety, jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, etc.) but two different soil compositions will produce two drastically different peppers, in terms of heat. That was where I am drawing my very unscientific comparison.
But, there are so many factors in plant growth, it is tough to pin anything down to one variable.