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Shengpu Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Shengpu Shou Pu-erh Mini Beeng Cha

 

Appearance: dark brown and russet leaf, fine cut and even in size
Flavor:
creamy taste with slight overtones of chocolate
Aroma: rich, appealing and earthy with none of the over-wrought wo dui aroma
Liquor: dark red/brown in the cup

 

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

Pressed in 2011
(5-years aged)
Made from Menghai tea harvesting area leaf materials gathered in 2006 and 2008 and stored

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°-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°-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 from all of the tea producing regions for Pu-erh producers to work with.

 

This is a very delicious, slightly-larger-than-usual mini shou beeng cha that is made from leaf materials gathered  from the Menghai tea area. Two different grades and vintages of sun-dried small leaf – 2006 (5th-grade leaf) and 2008 (gong ting leaf, the highest grade and smallest size leaf) were especially selected and blended together to create a shou Pu-erh that features balanced taste and rich, full body.

This little tea cake is ready to drink now – it has a creamy taste with slight overtones of chocolate and it has none of the over-wrought wo dui aroma and taste from the processing that plague many shou Pu-erh.

The texture is very silky in the mouth, and the tea liquor is quite mature tasting for such a young cake. This is one of the nicest mini Shou Pu-erh in our lineup.

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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