Light and playful, this Gushu rewards careful steepings with a bouquet of fruit aromas before a background of oyster mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
Warm and supple, the pale yellow liquor wafts gentle beeswax across the palate while remaining mildly astringent in the mouth; distinctive fruit flavours like strawberry may even condescend to trip over the tongue. Unlike many 'advanced' hei cha, this is one with the power to awe even the Sheng-unconverted, and will definitely leave the connoisseur particularly pleased.
Tea has been produced in the high-elevation Bingdao for centuries, but only began garnering attention in the last few years. Now, it is one of the most sought-after Pu'ers, with older vintages particularly prized—and difficult to find.
- ORIGIN: Bingdao, Shuangjiang, Lincang, Yunnan
- MEANING: Ice island (bing dao)
- CULTIVAR: Da Ye Zhong
- HARVEST TIME: Spring 2013
- TASTE: Strawberry, bamboo shoots, beeswax
Pu’er Tea is the empress among dark teas due to its exquisite taste and health properties. It is a tea produced only in the Yunnan province of China. The leaves undergo a process of microbial fermentation, which continues also during storage, steadily changing the taste and appearance of the tea. For this reason dark tea is also called post-fermented tea.
Pu’er tea is available in two finishes.
The “Raw” finish, called Sheng Cha, is the oldest and most traditional. It has green leaves at the beginning, which with slowly aging and process of gradual fermentation get darker to acquire unique richness of taste. Sheng Cha can be very valuable after some decades of ageing, with some vintages being extremely sought after. However, the raw material is of outmost importance for the quality of the brew. Ordinary Sheng Cha will never turn into a premium Pu'er upon ageing.
In the seventies, when the demand for the aged pu’er tea exceeded supply, a new manufacturing process, called Wo Dui, was developed by The Menghai Tea Factory to speed up ageing. The natural fermentation processes slowly transforming the appearance and taste of Sheng Cha are speed up in dedicated fermentation chamber to achieve the typical Pu'er taste within few months after the harvest. The final product, Shou Cha, has an intense flavour and dark colour already at the beginning, without the need to wait decades for aging to take place. Shou Cha means “cooked” and “ripe” tea.
Although the accelerated processing cannot be compared to the natural modifications occurring in Sheng Cha, Shou Cha shall not be considered a second-choice Pu'er; as the prices on the market confirm. Shou Cha is suitable for ageing. The taste continues to change overtime resulting in interesting combinations of natural and induced taste nuances.
That said, we invite you to compare Sheng and Shou Pu'er and let us know which one do you prefer.