Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 8 years 4 months ago

My inquiry project is about tea but more focused on pu'er tea.

I know that pu'er tea is specially grown in the Yunnan province.  I also know that tea grows on trees and is sometimes used for medical purposes. I learned these things by picking them up in conversation I have with my family and friends. I want to know about the process a pu'er tea leaf goes through from the field to the be ready to drink. Ahead of time before digging deeper, I would need to know some helpful resources to get me started and push me in the right direction. I would also probably need to know some background about the history of pu'er tea in order to understand it better with a deeper meaning.  

10 Questions (with possible answers in italics:

1. What types of pu'er tea are there?

- One.

2. Out of the different kinds of tea, how many how many of those are grown in Xizhou?

- Many different kinds of tea are grown in Xizhou but this environment is the perfect growing condition for pu'er tea.

3.. How long does it take to make pu'er tea?

-1-2 months

4.. Which type of tea is the most popular in Xizhou between the locals?

-pu'er tea because it's their local specialty.

5.. How long does it take for a pu'er tea tree to grow?

- One year.

6. For each type of tea, what are their medical uses?

radiation, weight loss

7. What is pu'er tea's taste and aroma?

- The smell and taste is mild.

New Questions from Phase 3:


1. What kinds of dishes include pu'er tea in them?.

2. Where does the tea horse trail start and end?

3.. What do they trade on the tea horse trail?




Hey Madeline! How's the weather there? The sky is really clearing up over here and all the flowers are starting to bloom. You guys go stargazing right? I miss you!



HI MADELINE!!! How are you doing over there? We miss u a lot. I bet the weather must be awesome there. It's been raining these few days in Shanghai but the weather has become warmer. Hope you're doing well and have fun~!

Re. Madeline's Project and Questions


Hi Madeline! 

I miss you!  But I'm so happy you're where you ARE that I won't dwell on your NOT being in class.  Say, I read your personal research/ interest statement about Pu'er Tea. What a great choice!  Without knowing ANYTHING about it,myself, I'm SURE you're going to learn a lot!    The questions you've asked are great starting points, and I look forward to learning through your findings.  I have a couple of thoughts I hope you don't mind I share with you.  Maybe a couple of questions, too.  As you begin to find answers to your questions, be sure to remember our questioning process in the Somalia problem-based learning process.  Your questions should result in findings, and those findings should lead to more questions that help you get to know the whole story better and better, deeper and deeper.  Like peeling onions (yikes, bad thought; brings tears to my eyes. boo hoo).  When you peel 1 layer of onion away, you see another layer, and there is one layer after another in that onion!!  The aroma gets more potent (powerful) the deeper you go.  So let those questions take you deeper and deeper.

I have a question for you:  when you ask what is the history of pu'er tea, what precisely do you mean?  If you get even more specific about what you want to know, you will get more specific information.

I wonder how long have Xizhou's people been cultivating tea? 

What are the stories and local sayings--or bits of wisdom/proverbs --that involve something about tea in Xizhou?  These are the kinds of things that show us values and beliefs that hold members of a culture together.  That would be so interesting to know!

Are there any "creation" stories that involve tea?  That would be interesting to know!  You know, the "how" and "why" stories people tell. 

Who tells those stories?  Are they learned when children go to village school?  Is it grandparents?  Parents?

How are the stories about tea/that involve tea and the people there passed on?  Song? Dance? Spoken?

Are there any special tea-related songs people working with the tea sing as they do their work?

Oh, my gosh! Now you've got me going.  Sorry about that.  I'm just excited about what you're doing!

I'll be watching your blog to see what happens.  Take good care!







Great questions so far- one that I have that you might already know the answer to, but someone on the outside might not: what is the difference between pu'er tea and other types?  Is it how it's grown?  How it tastes?  The quality?  

Just a thought from an "outside view."

Ms Stagg

Hey there! I haven't updated this description in an embarrassingly long time. I'm currently a high school junior in Shanghai American School. I was in the Alpha Pilots Microcampus group and the experience that I had was something that I'll always remember. I decided that my project was going to be on the topic of tea and how it plays into the local Bai community once I saw the surrounding environment. Note to future groups: Enjoy the moment, take in the surrounding environment, and make friends with the locals. Also, don't procrastinate, that'll stop you from doing the things you want to do (I can say that with first-hand experience).