(China Special Black Tea)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Yunnan Province
Grade: Pu-erh 1 year vintage
Cup Characteristics: Musty, earthy character sometimes described as old or elemental.
Infusion: Dull, black
Ingredients: Luxury Pu-erh tea
This tea is famed for its medicinal properties. The leaves come from the Yunnan Dayeh variety of tea tree - which is purported to be closely related to the original tea tree of pre-glacial times. The taste has been described as mellow, however those not accustomed to it might not enjoy the old character. For others though, this flavor will add to its aura of wonder and seem fitting in a tea prized for its medicinal properties.
The method of production is: The tealeaves are picked, rolled, withered in the hot sun, after which they are steamed and pressed into cakes. This pu-erh is broken up out of the cakes to make it easier to deal with. The steaming process generates some moisture and when compressed (without drying) into the cakes, in the course of time the tea takes on a musty and earthy character. Pu-erh that gets somewhat moldy before it naturally dries is considered the best. Pu-erh is then stored for years. As with wine, young pu-erh is considered the least valuable whereas pu-erh 5 years or older is more highly prized. Interestingly the taste of pu-erh becomes more mellow with age and perhaps more acceptable to the western palate.
Other recommended uses: Pu-erh is a main ingredient in Kambootcha.