We have recently purchased an assortment of loose-leaf sheng Pu-er from various production areas because we think that these teas should become more well known and available to tea enthusiasts.
Sheng Pu-erh offers the opportunity to really taste the essence of the tea trees and the place (terroir) without processing technique getting in the way and adding to the taste of the leaf.
If you are a fan of Chinese white tea, light oolongs such as Bai Hao, or soft and creamy Yunnan black teas, sheng Pu-erh would be a great–tasting light tea addition to your repertoire of tastes
Sheng Pu-erh is essentially the same as mao cha, the raw material used to press sheng Pu-erh cakes. Sheng Pu-erh has many tastes derived from the location of the tea forest (terroir), the age of the tea trees, etc.
Tea Trekker’s Zhenyuan County loose-leaf sheng Pu-erh has a flavor that is woodsy, but with a clean, fresh style. The steeped leaf has an intriguing hint of the camphor wood taste. More commonly noticed as an aromatic, both in cooking and incense, this characteristic brings a complexity and drying quality to the overall flavor of this tea. Elements of this naturally clean and slightly mentholated characteristic are also released in the aroma of this tea.
This loose-leaf sheng Pu-erh is made from fresh leaf material that was plucked from old-bush tea trees on the hillsides around Zhenyuan County. Politically, this region is under the administration of the Yizu-Hani-Lahu Autonomous County and the ethnic tribes living there who are responsible for nurturing and protecting both ancient tea trees and newer tea bush plantings of large-leaf tea bushes.
This leaf is similar in composition to what is harvested in other parts of Simao and throughout Yunnan Province for use in pressing sheng Pu-erh tea cakes (beeng cha.) This section of the Mekong River Valley (referred to as the Lancang River in China) in Yunnan Province has micro-climates that influence the characteristics of flavor and aroma that are so desired in the finished Pu-erh.
The fresh leaf undergoes a short sun-withering and a quick de-enzyming step (kill-green) in a tea firing pan. The leaf is then rolled and twisted by hand to generate internal cell changes within each tea leaf. Finally, the leaf is given a partial drying in the shade (to allow the residual moisture to begin natural fermentation) and then final drying in the sun.
This tea has a light, sweet flavor, and is un-fermented. It is delicious drunk plain as an easy-going, refreshing, and light tea for easy sipping. Most commonly served at room temperature, sheng Pu-erh can be even more refreshing than iced tea when served slightly chilled.
Harvested from old-growth tea bushes in 2009, this tea has been stored in superb conditions. It has gained just enough age to have given up its youthful, woodsy astringency. You can certainly drink it now, or put some aside for the future.
Interested in cooking with tea? Mao cha can be used to make a flavorful stock for a hearty vegetable soup that might feature kale, cabbage, beans, mushrooms or squash!
Sheng Pu-erh is also known as ‘un-cooked’ or ‘raw’ Pu-erh. It is the un-fermented version of Pu-erh.Sheng Pu-erh is un-fermented when young but microbial activity on the leaf will allow the tea to slowly ferment over time when the tea is kept under good storage conditions. Sheng Pu-erh can be drunk now or stored for years to allow a slow microbial transformation of the tea into something rich and full. Similar to young wines that will, over time, tranform into much more substantial wines, Sheng Pu-erh is prized by collectors and tea enthusiasts for this ability to age and transform over time.
Tea Trekker’s Zhenyuan County loose-leaf sheng Pu-erh is very high in positive chi, so may cause flushing and a pleasant warmth emanating from the belly.
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