History of Tea

The History of Xiaguan Tuocha

Yunnan Xiaguan Tuocha (Group) Co., Ltd. is a pu erh factory that’s prominent in the tea industry.

The company is the result of a merger of many small factories in the Xiaguan district of Dali, Yunnan. The earliest company was established in 1902, meaning that the company is has a history of more than 100 years.

The high-quality ecological environment provides a unique natural sources for the tea. The company mainly produces compressed pu erh tea. Its product series such as Song He (White Crane), Bao Yan( (Holy Flame), Xia Guan, won numerous international, national and regional awards and have always been appreciated by tea lovers. It’s also one of the most populair brands for pu erh outside of China.

Let’s now take a look at the milestones of Xiaguan Tuocha!

xiaguan tuocha tea history infographic


The tea firm “Yong Chang Xiang” in Xiaguan was founded an created the first tuocha shape pu erh tea. The shape resembles a bowl and has become of one of main shapes besides bricks and round cakes. Yong Chang Xiang will later merge into the larger Xiaguan tea factory. This clarifies why Xiaguan today still maintains ‘tuocha’ in its official company name.


The tuocha became popular and Yong Chang Xiang opened its first tea factory in Xiaguan. Its tuocha.


Dozens of tea factories opened successively in the Xiaguan district of Dali. It has become a hub for pu erh tea factories along the ancient tea horse road.


The Yunnan China Tea Trading Company was founded.


The Kang Zang Tea Factory was established by the Mongolian and Tibetan Committee and Yunnan China Tea Trading Company.


Bao Yan (Holy Flame) became a registered trademark.


Because of the large demand, a series of tea factories were established, including the Southwest Tea Factory.


With the withdrawal the of Mongolian and Tibetan Committee, the Yunnan China tea Trading Company became wholly owned by the Kang Zang Tea Factory.


The Kang Zang Tea Factory closed and functioned as a transfer station for transporting tea.


The Kang Zang Tea Factory resumed production and was renamed as the New Kang Zang Tea Factory of Yunnan China Tea Trading Company .


The New Kang Zang Tea Factory was renamed as the Xiaguan Tea Factory of China Tea Company Yunnan Branch “. It was nationalized and now belonged to the National Trade Department.


  • All Chinese Tea Company’s affiliated companies started to use “Zhongcha” trademark. Xiaguan Tea Factory too started using Zhongcha as the trademark for the products.
  • Consolidation continued, the Southwest Tea Factory, Yong Chang Xiang Tea Factory and other tea factories in Xiaguan area all merged into the Xiaguan Tea Factory.
  • 1953: Xiaguan Tea Factory shipped 54 tons of Bao Yan( (Holy Flame) mushroom-shaped tea to Tibet.


Xiaguan Tea Factory purchased and processed wild tea leaves up to 50 tons this year.


Xiaguan Tea Factory gradually expanded. The production capacity was increased and the packing and the transportation methods were improved.


The mushroom-shaped tea products changed to brick shape. The ingredients and processing technology remained the same.


The weight of each tuocha changed to 100 grams this year.


The factory resumed the production of round pu erh tea cakes.

The company created the first ‘XiaFaTuo‘ meaning ‘Sell To France Tuocha’.


Xiaguan Tea Factory expanded tea plantation area, carried out equipment transformations on tea screening, pressing and drying process.


The factory increased the volume of the export of pu erh tea greatly.

Pu erh tea code system lauched. The code for products of Xiaguan Tea factory started with 76 and ended with 3. For example, product 76073 meant Grade 7 loose pu erh of Xiaguan Tea Factory.


The factory’s Yunnan Tuocha (Grade A) was awarded Quality Products in Yunnan Province.


  • Product “Cangshan Green Snow” won the title of Yunnan Province Quality Tea.
  • Zhongcha brand’s Yunnan Tuocha (Export) and Grade 10 loose pu erh tea (76103) was given the title of Yunnan Province Quality Product .
  • French tea wholesale delegation visited Xiaguan Tea Factory to discuss the possibility of further trade expanding .


Xia Guan tuocha (Grade A) won National quality Silver Award, given by National Quality Award Committee.


Yunnan Tuocha (Export) won the World Food Golden Crown Award at the 9th World Food Awards held in Barcelona, Spain.


Yunnan Tuocha won once again World Food Golden Crown Award at the 10th World Food Awards in Dusseldorf, Germany.


Yunnan Tuocha (Class A) and Yunnan Tuocha (Export) both won Golden Award at China’s first Food Exposition,given by the Exposition Evaluation Committee.


  • Yunnan Tuocha (Grade A) was named the National Agricultural Department Quality Tea.
  • Yunnan Tuocha (Domestic) was named the National Quality Tea.
  • Yunnan Tuocha under Zhongcha trademark won the Silver Medal at Outstanding Export Commodities Awards.
  • Bao Yan (Holy Flame) brick tea won the Yunnan Province Quality Product title.


Xiaguan Tea Factory was given the Quality Management Award by National Ministry of Light Industry.


  • Song He (White Crane) and Nan Zhao registered as official trademarks.
  • Cangshan Green Snow and Gan Tong Cha were named Yunnan Province Quality Tea.


  • Yunnan Tuocha was given the World Food Golden Crown Award for the 3rd time at the 16th  World food Awards in Madrid, Spain.
  • San Dao registered as a trademark.


Xiaguan Tea Factory reformed to Yunnan Xiaguan Tuocha Co., Ltd.


Song He (White Crane) and Bao Yan (Holy Flame) were awarded as China’s Quality Tea Trademark by Chinese Tea Circulation Association.


The company was permitted to use the “Green Food” logo.


Yunnan Xiaguan Tuocha (Group) Co., Ltd. was established.


The company obtained Import and Export Enterprise Qualification.


  • The company held the press conference “100th Anniversary of the Creation of Tuocha”.
  • Xiaguan Tuocha’s official website went online.
  • Product Xia Guan tuocha was named as Product of National Geographic indications Protection by National Administration of Quality Supervision.
  • Song He (White Crane) obtained “Mark of origin” certificate.


Song He (White Crane) trademark was named by the Yunnan Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce as Yunnan Province Famous Trademark.


  • Bao Yan (Holy Flame) trademark was named Yunnan Province Famous Trademark.
  • The Chairman of Xiaguan Tuocha Group, Luo Nai Xin, was nominated as “Top 10 Outstanding People of Pu Erh Tea”.
  • The company obtained Organic Product Authentication Certificate.


Xiaguan Tuocha Museum was established by Xiaguan Tuocha Group.


  • Xiaguan tuocha production technology was included in Dali Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection List.
  • Xiaguan trademark was identified by Yunnan Trademark Commission as Yunnan Province Famous Trademark.
  • Song He (White Crane) trademark was once again identified by Yunnan Administration for Industry and Commerce as Yunnan Famous Trademark.


Xiaguan Tuocha was chosen by China’s Ministry of Commerce as China’s Time-honored Brand.


The company held public charity auction activities which raised a total of nearly 500,000 yuan of funds.


Xiaguan Tuocha Group was given Provincial Industrial Quality Benchmarking Award.


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