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Baotu (Spouting) Spring in Jinan

The Baotu Spring is in the Baotu Spring Park of Jinan City, Shandong Province. Ranking first among the 72 springs in Jinan, it derives its name from its torrential spouting water. The Darning (Great Brightness) Lake, Mt. Qianfo (One-thousand-buddha Mountain), and Baotu Spring are called "Top Three Treasures of Jinan".

The spring is contained in a rectangular pond some 30 meters long from east to west and 20 meters wide from south to north. There are three spring mouths in the pond, from which, water gushes out day and night, making the pond look like a boiling cauldron or a plate holding the piling snow. The ancient people believed that the three spring mouths were the three divine mountains in the East China Sea, namely Mt. Penglai, Mt. Fangzhang, and Mt. Yingzhou. The Baotu Spring has clear and sweet water, which, if used to cook tea, guarantees a right and mellow taste. In the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), scholars liked to use the water from the Baotu Spring to cook tea and they hailed it as the best for tea making. In the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), Emperor Qian Long always demanded the tea cooked with the water from the Baotu Spring every time he came to Shandong.

Since 1990s, with the nonstop exploitation of the underground water, the Baotu Spring has been producing less and less water year after year- The spouting water is no longer a frequent sight. However, the water from the spring remains the best for brewing tea, especially the jasmine tea. The tea soup has an amber color and sends forth a strong fresh aroma.