Aged & Rested

Naka Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh

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Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh

 

Naka Sheng Pu-erh

 

Appearance: lovely, large, silvery-tan leaves and buds
Flavor: pleasant, light,woodsy flavor
Aroma:
fresh, clean forest aroma
Liquor:
pale-gold colored liquor in the cup

 

Naka Tea Harvesting Area
Menghai 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:

 

Not recommended

 

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

 

Use 1.25 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 40 seconds
Increase the steeping time an additional 5-10 seconds with each additional infusion
Expect to re-steep this leaf  3-4 additional times.

 

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 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 available mao cha from the various tea villages for Pu-erh producers to work with.

This slightly earthy sheng Pu-erh has a fresh forest aroma and a pleasant taste. It is a great introduction to this category of tea.

We have recently purchased an assortment of loose-leaf sheng Pu-er from various production areas because we think that these teas should become more well known and available to tea enthusiasts.

Sheng Pu-erh offers the opportunity to really taste the essence of the tea trees and the place (terroir) without processing technique getting in the way and adding to the taste of the leaf.

If you are a fan of Chinese white tea, light oolongs such as Bai Hao, or soft and creamy Yunnan black teas, sheng Pu-erh would be a great–tasting light tea addition to your repertoire of tastes

Sheng Pu-erh is essentially the same as mao cha, the raw material used to press sheng Pu-erh cakes. Sheng Pu-erh has many tastes derived from the location of the tea forest (terroir), the age of the tea trees, etc.

Essentially loose-leaf sheng Pu-erh has a sweet, woodsy; forest flavor and mild aroma. It is perfectly lovely to drink this tea now; or you can put some aside to age and strengthen over time.

The Naka tea harvesting area is located near the Mengsong/Nannuo tea harvesting areas. This area is populated by Hani people who own a dense concentration of ancient tea trees. They take their tea and the presence of their tea trees very seriously and view the tea trees as a connection to their ancestors.

We found this tea to have a straightforward, clean, woodsy aroma and an attractive pale-gold colored liquor in the cup. Be careful when steeping this leaf, as over-steeping it can turn this tea into a pithy and bitter beverage.

Naka is a Lahu minority village located at the northern end of Mengsong area, between Menghai and Jinghong. It is a remote area close to the highest peak in Xishuangbanna. The ancient tea trees in this area grow at elevations as high at 5,900 – 6,500 feet . The environment is colder here than in other tea-growing areas of Xishuangbanna, which results in tea trees with slightly smaller leaves and unique aromas.

Note:
Sheng Pu-erh is also known as ‘un-cooked’ or ‘raw’ Pu-erh. It is the un-fermented version of Pu-erh.
Sheng Pu-erh is un-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 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