The leaves of Old Tree Leaf Sheng (Raw) Puer Cake 2016 tea come from the Bulang area located in the Yunnan region of southern China. In order to better understand this product, it is necessary to investigate the area of origin of its leaves as, in most cases, it is the place of origin itself that gives the tea its name and main organoleptic qualities. This puer, specifically, is composed mainly of the crop made in the Bulang mountainous area south of Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture at the most extreme southwestern point of Yunnan. The leaves in question were then carefully selected and pressed in spring 2016 by the Yongde Xiulin Pu’er factories located in Yongde County. The indication on the location of the factory where the leaves arrive is useful to emphasize that behind this puer is a certain style or type of research designed by a special group of tea masters to enhance the territorial characteristics of the product.
Sheng old tree leaf, due to its particular time of maturity, manages to combine some typical flavors of both young and somewhat older puers in the cup. This can be seen well by observing the taste sensations of the first few sips in comparison with those found at the end of the tasting. At first, in fact, there are fresh vegetable flavors that are already quite savory and therefore capable of recalling soybean sprouts or the leaves of some cabbages. Later, however, slightly more seasoned flavors arrive on the palate such as to recall the scent of some woods and dried herbs in the summertime. Finally, in the aftertaste, there is also a slightly mineral tone and a sweet aspect similar to that given by some fresh legumes.
Place of origin
Bulang – Yunnan, China
After the harvest the leaves whither under the sunlight for a certain period of time depending on the tea masters evaluations before going into the “killing of the green” phase which is similar to the practice adopted for green teas. In this case, however, the leaves are heated in the iron wok with a lower temperature than the usual standards for a green tea so it is possible to preserve some enzymes capable of changing the the taste of the tea through the time. After being pan-fried the leaves rest during the night time before the last drying phase under the sun in the next day. In this stage the product is called maocha and it is ready to be (eventually) pressed in order to have the best conditions to being transported and aged. To press the leaves, the producer exposes a certain quantity of the product to a strong steam jet for few seconds in order softened the vegetal mass and then wrap all up in a kind of sock or sac to imprint the final, usually discoid, form. To maintain the desired shape the sac is put under an heavy stones for several hours or under a mechanical press while the leaves loose the residual moisture caused by the steam in the previous phase.
How to prepare
We strongly recommend infusing this tea in the traditional Chinese method (Gong Fu Cha) with a gaiwan with a capacity of about 150 ml. By following this preparation, multiple infusions can be made with 5 grams of leaves that are useful to best capture all the flavor nuances of the tea.
Heat the water to a temperature of 90°C: conduct a short rinse of the leaves and then an initial 20-second infusion. Keeping the water at the same temperature, you can then continue to exploit the same leaves by adding more water and increasing the infusion time by 5 seconds each time (20 – 25 – 30…).
This tea has a longevity of 8-9 infusions.
For a more classic preparation in the Western style, we recommend 3 grams of leaves in a 200-mL cup with water at 90°C for an infusion time of 2 and a half minutes.
For a better tasting experience, we suggest that you strain the tea as soon as the brewing time is over. The infusion timings we suggest can be slightly modified to your liking to achieve a more or less intense taste.
Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
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