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Bang Dong Gu Shu Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh Tuo Cha


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Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh


Bang Dong Village / Mengku Tea Harvesting Area


Appearance: a blend of dark and silvery grey leaf in a very even, deep curl
Flavor: thick, woodsy-nutty aftertaste. Young tea with astringency that will mellow with aging.
Aroma: clean, forest-floor, vegetal aroma
Liquor: clear golden-yellow


Each Tuo Cha is 3.6 oz (100 gr)


Bang Dong Village
Mengku Tea Harvesting Area
Shuangjiang County, Lincang Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China

2012 Spring Pluck
(9-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 25-32 ounces:


Carefully pry the tuo cha ‘open’ to loosen the leaves
Use 2 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 10-30 seconds
Re-steep this leaf 3-7 additional times


Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10 oz or in a gaiwan:


Use 1 Tablespoon to 1.5 Tablespoons (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 5-10 seconds
Increase the steeping time a few seconds with each re-steep
Re-steep this leaf 7-10 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:


withering (indoors and or outdoors)
rolling & shaping


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 Pu-erh is made from. Mao cha is simple to manufacture but is complex in its diversity. It 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 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.



Bang Dong Village is located in Mengku Tea Harvesting Area. It is a small village, and production of this tea comes from one family’s small ancestral tea garden. The tea trees are more than 100 years old and are growing in a completely natural environment

Sheng Pu-erh from Bang Dong has the typical Mengku area characteristics – pleasant, clean aroma, strong cha qi and a thick, nutty & sweet, long-lasting after-taste.

This tea can be drunk now but it will be slightly astringent and perhaps bitter for another year or two. But this will develop quickly into a very delicious, mature tea – purchase one or two and put away for a few more years to mellow and develop. Or purchase the set in the wonderful presentation box and drink one tuo cha every year (or two) to experience how the taste of sheng Pu-erh changes over time. They are old enough now that in five or ten years they will be fantastic.

Tuo cha’s are tennis-ball sized units of compressed Pu-erh leaf with a thumb-size, hollow core. Pu-erh is pressed into many different shapes and the tuo cha is one of the most popular, for their practical size.

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 tea when it is 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 this slow microbial transformation of the tea to turn the tea into something rich and full. Similar to young wines that will, over time, transform into much more substantial wines, sheng Pu-erh is prized by collectors and tea enthusiasts for this ability to age and improve over time.


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