Aged & Rested

Old Aroma, Old Taste Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

$7.50$96.00

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Old Aroma, Old Taste Shou Pu-erh

 

Appearance: small Grade 1 & Grade 3 leaf, rich flinty brown color
Flavor: sweet, rich flavor and aftertaste
Aroma: earthy, clean, peat-like
Liquor: red-amber colored tea liquor

 

Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture &
Feng Qing County, Lincang Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2007, 2009 & 2013 Spring Plucks
A skillful blend of leaf aged 9-years, 7-years, & 3-years

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 20-32 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 this leaf 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 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 available mao cha from tea production villages for Pu-erh producers to work with.

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste several batches of loose leaf shou Pu-erh from several different Yunnan tea growing areas in various leaf grades, and from several production years.

We spent an afternoon blending these teas together in varying proportions (and getting drunk on tea) until we found the combination that had the most delicious synergy and complexity of flavor.

Many of you know that a good Pu-erh cake is most often a blend of leaf materials from various tea harvesting areas, so this loose-leaf blend follows that convention….with the additional benefit of aged teas from different years.

Our blend consists of small leaf material in Grade 1 & Grade 3 from Menghai and Lincang tea harvesting areas. Some of the eaf is from 2007, some is from 2009 and some from 2013.

The properties of our blend: harvesting location, grade and age, and careful, light fermentation all contribute to a rich, mature- tasting tea without the over-wrought wou dui fermented character that many shou Pu-erhs have.

Instead, what our blend does have is an earthy, clean, peat-like aroma and a non-astringent, sweet, rich, creamy aftertaste. Overall, our Old Aroma, Old Taste Pu-erh has a contrasting balance of sweetness and a slight woodsy taste.

The finish is long and sweet, with a complexity rare for a non-pressed shou Pu-erh. We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we did creating it.

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.

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