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.
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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