Menghai Langhe mini pu-erh beeng cha

Menghai Langhe Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Menghai Langhe Shou Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

 

 

Menghai Langhe Tea Factory
Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2008 Spring Pluck
(the cake was pressed in 2009)

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:

 

Carefully scrape the tea cake to loosen the leaves
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:

 

Carefully scrape the tea cake to loosen the leaves
Use 1 Tablespoon to 1.5 Tablespoons (6 grams) of tea per 6 oz water
Scale up for a 10 oz tea steeping vessel
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 4-6 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 for Pu-erh producers to work with.

This beeng cha was made by the Menghai Langhe Tea factory from high quality materials (1st, 3rd and 5th grade leaf) gathered and fermented in 2008 and pressed in 2009. The raw materials came from an ecological tea garden and the cake is a tribute to the environment: mountain and river.

The mao cha was given a medium fermentation. Overall, the flavor is brothy and beefy with hints of barley, chocolate and black grapes. The mouth feel is creamy and smooth and the aroma is earthy with a bit of mushroom.

This is a nice cake for drinking now or for setting aside to age and improve.


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

Want to know more?

New Tea, Rested Tea & Aged Tea