Aged & Rested

Manzhuan Ancient Tree Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh

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Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh

 

Manzhuan Ancient Tree Sheng Pu-erh

 

Appearance: long, thick, grey/brown and silvery leaves

Flavor: the taste is strong but sweet, penetrating and full in the mouth. It has earthy complexity and a strong, lingering after-taste (huigan)
Aroma: herbaceous and clean with a touch of cannabis lingering in the background
Liquor: clear pale amber in color in the cup

 

Manzhuan Village Tea Harvesting Area
Mengla County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2014 Spring Pluck

Note on Steeping Pu-erh:

 

Mao cha 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:

 

Not recommended

 

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

 

Use 1.5 Tablespoons (3 grams) of tea per 6 oz water
Use water that is 185°F-195°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 30 seconds
Add additional hot water and steep 2nd infusion for 45 seconds
Increase the steeping time an additonal 5-10 seconds with each additional infusion
Expect to re-steep this leaf 3-4 additional times

 

For best enjoyment, this tea should be steeped ‘short’ or Asian-style.

 

We suggest:

 

3 grams or 1.5 Tablespoons leaf to 6 ounces water
a quick rinse of the leaf
one 30 second 1st infusion
one 40 second 2nd infusion
an additional 5/10 seconds for each subsequent infusion

Coming soon!

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 forms of Pu-erh are made from. Mao cha is simple to manufacture but is complex in its diversity. Mao cha 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 new 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.

Manzhuan is one of the historic Six Tea Mountains of Xishuangbanna located north of the Lincang River, and has been producing Pu-erh since the mid-1700’s. Pu-erh from the Manzhuan tea harvesting area is plucked from tea plants that have grown to natural tree height. This area is near the Yi Wu tea harvest area, but the teas from Manzhuang are made from a large-leaf variety arbor tea tree and are more powerful in taste. This place produces tea from genetically unique varieties of old tea trees that have been growing here for the past 300 years. Some of these cultivars are unique to this area and some are descended from Camellia assamica.

While this area contains many newly planted tea gardens, our loose-leaf Manzhuan sheng Pu-erh comes from arbor trees that are between 300 and 400 years old. These tea trees are tended by people living in nearby villages (fewer than 30 families live in each village) who also harvest and process the fresh leaves. The people doing this today are most likely descendants of those who came before in the nearly 300 years of tea-growing history on this mountain.

Manzhuan area teas are known for their special thick aroma and a taste that with age becomes stronger and more textured. When brewed, you will notice the tea liquor is clear pale amber in color. The aroma is herbaceous and clean with a touch of cannibis lingering in the background. The taste is strong but sweet, penetrating and full in the mouth. The flavor has complexity and a strong and lingering after-taste (huigan).

With storage and age, this tea will turn into something powerful.

Note:
Sheng Pu-erh is also known as ‘un-cooked’ or ‘raw’ Pu-erh. It is the non-fermented version of Pu-erh. Sheng Pu-erh is non-fermented when young but microbial activity on the leaf will allow the tea to slowly ferment over time when the tea is kept under good storage conditions. Sheng Pu-erh can be drunk now or stored for years to allow a slow microbial transformation of the tea into something rich and full. Similar to young French wines that will, over time, transform into much more substantial wines, Sheng Pu-erh is prized by collectors and tea enthusiasts for this ability to age and improve over time.

 

Want to know more?
lleaf2China’s Famous Tea