In the tea world it’s common to find particular processing method or pairing with natural flavors and this ripe puer from Yunnan wrapped in a tangerine it represents a good example in this reality. This product, in fact, want to combine the woody and mineral taste of a shu puer with the citrus and medicinal teste of a tangerine. In order to obtain this results, usually, the tangerines are harvested still ripe, opened, emptied and then filled with the still not totally dry leaves of shu puer. In that way the two products will finish to dry together and so start to share their flavors from here. It’s important to remember that generally only gong ting leaves (small leaves) are involved in this kind of preparation so it is easier to fill the tangerine. During the tasting of this tea (that you can enrich with some tangerine pieces) it is interesting to see how the flavors of this product alternate their selves and interact with our mouth. The shu will give the woodiness and body at the liquor while the tangerine taste will emerge slowly leaving, in the end, its fragrance on the palate. We remembered you that, like other pu er teas, also this product will change its flavors through time so it is suitable for aging.
Place of origin
After the harvest the leaves wither under the sunlight for a certain period of time depending on the tea master wisdom before the “kill of green” phase which is similar to the process used in green teas production. Here the main difference is that the leaves aren’t heated at the same temperature of a green tea but with a lower one so you could preserve some enzymes which will continue to modify the flavors of teas through the years. After the cooking process big quantities of tea leaves are amassed in pile 40/50 centimeters high and covered with a big sheet to allow the beginning of the fermentation. The producer have to move and wet constantly the leaves in order to achieve an homogeneous fermentation on all the vegetal mass. When this process ends the leaves were spread all over the floor to let the microorganisms dry, and get loose. At this point the leaves, still a bit humid, are put into the tangerines already opened and emptied so the two products will finish to dry together. This product can be consumed immediately after the last drying phase or it could be aged.
We invite you to brew this tea in the traditional Chinese style (gong fu cha) in order to extract more from your leaves. Following this preparation you could use 6 grams of leaves (about a third of the tangerine) in a gaiwan of 100 ml so you can obtains more infusions with different flavors. After a brief rinse of the leaves in a 100°C water you can go with a first infusion of 15 seconds and, after that, at the same water temperature, you can do multiple infusion adding 5 seconds every steeping time (15 – 20 – 25 …)
These leaves could be steep about 8 times.
To prepare the tea in the western style we suggest 3 grams of leaves (about 2 teaspoons) in a 150 ml cup with 100°C water for a steeping time of one minute and a half.
The tea could be filtered if you want to avoid some little piece of the leaves during the tasting time and also the steeping time we recommend here could be modify on your personal preferences.
We also suggest to brew some pieces of tangerine with the tea leaves.
We recommend you to store this tea in a dry and cool place avoiding the direct sun light on the leaves.