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He Kai Shan Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh Beeng Cha

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Sheng (un-fermented) Pu-erh

 

He Kai Shan Sheng Beeng Cha

 

Appearance: tight and slender dark tea leaves with white tips
Flavor: fresh, mellow and floral with a thick, sweet aftertaste
Aroma: pure tea flavor with just a hint of smoke
Liquor: clear golden yellow liquid

 

 

He Kai Shan
Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture,
Yunnan Province, China

Pressed in 2014 from 2014 Spring-pluck leaf materials
(7-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.

Yunnan’s He Kai Shan black teas have been gaining popularity due to their incredible fragrance and gentle nature. Our black tea from this region is outstanding and we have been tasting samples of both the black tea and Pu-erh from this mountain in Yunnan Province for years.

One of the largest well-preserved ancient tea gardens exists on Hekaishan. The Lahu Minority living here has never used pesticides or chemical fertilizer in their tea gardens. This harvest of raw Puerh leaf had a nice hint of clean, subtle smokiness and a rich, full mouth-feel. It was perfect for developing into mao cha. Now that this leaf has been rested, compressed, and aged, its finish is gentle yet long-lasting and cleansing. The liquor is a soft, reddish-yellow. It is very accessible, making it satisfying for experienced Puerh enthusiasts but also a perfect introductory Pu-erh for the enthusiastic novice, or anyone in between! This He Kai Shan Raw Pu Erh Tea Cake was made of tea leaf material harvested from ancient arbor tea trees that are 200-500 years old, during late March 2014.

This Pu-erh is delicious now, and will continue to improve with more ageing, if you can manage to keep all or some of it around for any length of time. It is from a quite prestigious tea-important area and will increase in both tastiness and value with more time. This cake could be nice to have multiples of, for personal drinking and also barter with friends.

This cake will improve for probably twenty years (and then be able to be kept for many more years in a shelf-stable condition), depending on storage conditions, but it is also a good beverage now as a young Pu-erh/mao cha. This cake’s current ‘drinkability’ is particularly because the tea trees from which its leaf came are so old and have been supervised by true ‘tea people’.

Note:

Sheng Pu-erh is also known as ‘un-cooked’ or ‘raw’ Pu-erh. t 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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