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Aged Bu Lang Shan Shou (Fermented) Pu-erh Beeng Cha

$39.00

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Shou (fermented) Pu-erh

 

Aged Bu Lang Shan Shou Beeng Cha

 

Appearance: leaf is thin and evenly curly, in an auburn coloration
Flavor: sweet, balanced, harmonious and mildly fruity
Aroma: earthy and straightforward, classic Pu-erh aroma both dry leaf and wet
Liquor: bright red-amber

 

 

Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture,
Yunnan Province, China

Pressed in 2016 from 2006 Spring pluck leaf materials
10-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 to 32 ounces:

 

Carefully scrape the tea cake to loosen the leaves.
Use 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea per 6oz 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
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 mao cha for Pu-erh producers to work with.

The manufacturing process used to make Pu-erh tea is very different than that of other Chinese teas. Shou Pu-erh undergoes an accelerated, rapid microbial fermentation process (wo dui) in the tea factory. Properly-supervised fermentation is essential to develop the optimal flavor of ripe Pu erh. Pu-erh is ready for drinking right away or can be stored to mellow and sweeten over time. It will not completely transform the way that sheng Pu-erh does. A well-made shou Pu-erh beeng cha can hint at how a well-aged, transformed sheng Pu-erh beeng cha might taste following years of proper storage. Shou Pu-erh is made for immediate drinking and is the most common style of Pu-erh enjoyed in households throughout China.

These Aged Bu Lang Shan shou (ripe) Pu-erh beeng cha were pressed in 2016 using loose-leaf shou material produced in one of Yunnan Province’s finest Pu-erh producing areas. This particular leaf was manufactured in the Bu Lang Shan (shan=mountains) at an altitude of about 1700 meters in 2006. A significant percentage of the leaf used in these beeng cha is from the 500-year-old tea trees that populate this mountain range and make this area famous for Pu-erh manufacture. The shou pu-erh was stored for 10 years as loose leaf material, and then pressed. That is why its Chinese name is “Shi Nian Chen Xiang”, literally meaning “Ten Years Vintage Fragrance”. This shou Pu-Erh can produce an infusion with a pleasant scent like sun-dried Chinese dates. The flavor is sweet and mildly fruity. It gives a mellow mouth-feel and its delicate fruity flavor is sublime on the palate. The “Shi Nian Chen Xiang” ripe tea cakes won the Gold Prize in 2016 (the first year of their release) during the Yunnan Famous Tea Contest sponsored by the Tea Association of the Chamber of Commerce of Yunnan Province.

This is an excellent, well-made Pu-erh that will continue to store nicely or can be drunk now. It has been stored well to this point, both as loose leaf from 2006 to 2016, and during the five years since being pressed. We have priced it very well so that you can enjoy it rather than admire it on the shelf.

Notes:
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 prior to being compressed or packaged, if sold loose-leaf.

This 357 gram cake is the standard size that beeng cha are most commonly pressed into. They are individually-wrapped in tissue, and then packed seven to a ‘tong’, and four tongs to a master pack both seven and twenty-eight being auspicious (even though four is not!)

 

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