Out of Stock Aged & Rested Phoenix Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

Phoenix Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

$15.00

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Phoenix Shou Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

 

Appearance: fine cut, dark brown and russet leaf
Flavor: high degree of fermentation gives this cake a smooth, soft earthiness and very full flavor
Aroma: the fragrance has pleasant, clean & fresh wo dui character
Liquor: dark brown with coppery highlights in the cup

 

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

2009 Spring Pluck
(7-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 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:
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 10oz 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-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 olling & 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.

Mini shou Pu-erh cakes are a great way to explore this vast topic without breaking the bank. This Phoenix tea cake was pressed in 2009 by the Xinghai Tea Factory from leaf materials gathered in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture. It is the highest grade mini shou cake manufactured by that tea factory in 2009. It is made from gong ting (smallest and highest grade leaf ) and 1st grade leaf, and has been given a high degree of fermentation.

This tea cake has a rich, brothy, forthright flavor as well as an underlying smoothness and softness. It is a classy example of shou Pu-erh with a clean and fresh (not fusty or musty) wo dui aroma. Overall, this tea is pleasingly full and round in the mouth, and is ready to drink now or will continue to age for many more years.

Unlike many shou Pu-erh which are very hard and tightly compressed, this cake has been given light/medium compression which means it will easily break-up by hand or with a Pu-erh knife.

To open the cake: gently bend back and forth by hand to loosed the interlocking tea leaves and break the cake into pieces or use a Pu-erh cake breaking tool to separate the leaf.

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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