Aged & Rested

Vintage 1995 Wild Arbor Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Vintage 1995 Wild Arbor Shou Pu-erh

 

Appearance: kibbly chunks of tea mixed with fine leaf, dark brown in color
Flavor: deep, smooth, full and complex flavor, absolutely no bitterness
Aroma: high fragrance, strong character
Liquor: deep burgundy colored liquor

 

Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

Vintage 1995 Wild Arbor Shou Pu-erh
1995 Spring Pluck
(23-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 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 2.25 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 to 4 minutes
Re-steep this leaf 1 to 2 additional times

 

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

 

Use 4.5 to 5 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 to 10 seconds with each re-steep
Re-steep this leaf 4 to 6 times (or more!)

 

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 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 tea was made by one of China’s state owned tea factory in the mid-1990’s and has been in dry storage since that time. The taste and condition of this tea is very desirable and inventories of teas such as this that are coming to market are declining each year.

This stylish Pu-erh is comprised of large, leafy tea leaves that are very well-shaped and clean. One can tell from the appearance that this tea was made from large-sized arbor tea leaves and processed carefully to keep from damaging the tea leaves.

This tea is smooth and full and complex in flavor without any bitterness. The passing of time has eliminated the wo dui taste and aroma from this tea, leaving a lovely Pu-erh that has absolutely no bitterness. Fragrance is high and strong, and in the cup the tea liquor is a lovely dark burgundy color.

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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