Aged & Rested

Imperial Gong Ting Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

$20.00

Clear
Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Imperial Gong Ting Shou Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

 

Appearance: fine, small leaf and an abundance of tiny, young buds (gong ting grade, the best!)  Lovely dark and medium brown color cake
Flavor: sweet, mild taste, light fermentation
Aroma: fresh, clean, suggestion of mushroom & barley
Liquor: opaque dark brown/burgundy colored liquor tinged with copper highlights

 

 

Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2008 Spring Pluck
(8-years aged)

Note on steeping Pu-erh:

 

Pu-erh is traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped. This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded. The rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping. Use additional appropriately-heated water for the 1st steeping and subsequent re-steepings.

 

Western-style steeping in a medium-large sized teapot 25-32 ounces:

 

Use 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea per 6 oz water
Use water that is 200°F-210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 3-4 minutes
Re-steep 1-2 additional times

 

Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10 oz or in a gaiwan:

 

Use 4 teaspoons (6 grams) of tea per 6 oz water
Use water that is 200°F-210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 25 seconds
Increase the steeping time an additional 5-10 seconds with each re-steep
Re-steep this leaf 4-6 times (or more!)

 

Unlike most other tea, Pu-erh is made from mao cha and not directly from fresh leaf.

 

So what is mao cha? Mao cha is a simple ‘rough’ manufacture of leaf materials that consists of:

 

plucking
withering (indoors and or outdoors)
firing
rolling & shaping
sun-drying

 

Mao cha is considered both finished tea and half-made tea. It is essentially young sheng Pu-erh and is drunk by villagers in Yunnan as well as being the leaf that all Pu-erh is made from. Mao cha is simple to manufacture but is complex in its diversity. It can be made from the fresh leaf of one tea garden or be a blend of leaf from an entire tea village or from several tea producing villages within one county.

 

Mao cha can be stored and aged after it is made, or it can be a blend that is comprised of aged mao cha from different years. It is found in a variety of leaf sizes, too, depending on the location of the tea trees and on the type of local cultivars (size of the leaf)  the mao cha was made from. Mao cha is a great example of the effects of terroir.

 

As you can see, the possibilities and resulting flavors of mao cha are almost endless. All of these variables  result in a staggering choice of mao cha for Pu-erh producers to work with.

 

This is a highly sought after Gong ting shou Pu-erh minin beeng cha from the Langhe Tea Factory. This relatively new tea factory has earned an excellent reputation for their recipes for fine, long-keeping shu Pu-erh.

Langhe’s Gong ting Pu-erh is very rich and naturally sweet – it is a very high grade of tea that is comprised mostly of buds: sweet, tender buds. Gong ting buds are small in size and we are thrilled to discover a mini shou beeng cha that highlights these buds and that is so skillfully made.

Because the buds are small and tender, the fermentation in the tea factory is carried out for a shorter amount of time than it would be if the leaf materials being used were large and coarse. This shorter time yields a sweeter, milder tea with none of the wo dui (musty, funky) smell that some shou Pu-erh beeng cha have.

This tea is from 2008 so it already has some age to it. So it provides quite lovely drinking now. But the cake will continue to age gracefully and become a treasure in your tea chest in years to come. We recommend purchasing one or two now.

The aroma if the beeng cha is light and sweet and very clean. The taste is rich in the way that mushrooms, fine wine and old Port are rich. The taste is harmonious and well-balanced and very satisfying.

Note:

Shou Pu-erh is also known as ‘cooked’ or ‘ripe’ Pu-erh, a reference to the wo dui fermentation process that the leaf undergoes in the tea factory