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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh Rectangle Recipe #7572

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Shou Pu-erh Rectangle Recipe #7572

 

Appearance: very dark leaf, very finely cut, with a sprinkling of russet tips mixed in
Flavor:
complex and full
Aroma: soft, earthy, enticing fruity aroma
Liquor: clear, ruby-red-amber colored tea liquor in the cup

 

Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2001 Spring Pluck (pressed in 2002)
(15-years aged)
Blended from seven grades of mao cha with tips added

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:

 

Use 2.5 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 1 -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 5-10 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 county-style manufacture of leaf materials that consists of simply pan-firing the fresh leaf, rolling the leaf and allowing it to dry slowly in the sun.

 

Mao cha is drunk by villagers in Yunnan ( it is essentially young sheng Pu-erh) and it is the base tea for all forms of Pu-erh. 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 producing regions for Pu-erh producers to work with.

The mao cha recipe for this Pu-erh rectangle # 7572 – is a Menghai classic and a taste standard in the world of shou Pu-erh. This recipe is made every year by many Menghai tea factories from various lots of mao cha, so the taste will vary even if the recipe does not.

Seven grades of mao cha gathered from the Menghai area are mixed in this blend, plus a good sprinkling of golden tip spread on the surface of the cake give complexity and fullness to the flavor.

Medium fermentation gives this Pu-erh a mellow, harmonious taste and a long pleasant sweetness. Drink this tea now or age the brick further to encourage softness and smoothness in the taste.

Each rectangle is individually wrapped in bamboo leaf, not paper, and stamped in red ink with the recipe number.

HOWEVER: because of the humid storage conditions, the age of this tea (manufactured 14 years ago), and the fact that ink does not stick very well to bamboo wrappers, most of the red ink stamped recipe number has has rubbed off and is un-readable.  Despite this, rest assured that the tea is what it is said to be and that it is delicious.

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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