Fermenting tea in Shaanxi usually implies Erotium Cristatum to form Golden Flowers (Jin Hua) on the leaves. Visible on the pressed bricks, these light golden specks are responsible for the typical woody and fruity aromas found in their infusion.
Here is one of those little aged jewels from the Hualien region on the east coast of Taiwan. Tinted khaki, the leaves of this thirty year old wulong, once rinsed, offer generous aromas of damp wood and spicy cigars. Its soft liquor flows gently on the palate spreading its sweet (beet) and metallic (prunes) flavours. The finish is deep and subtly mineral.
Without venturing far into Laos we find farmers producing tea using the ancestral methods of Yunnan. In Phong Sali, producers work their teas with great care, rivaling (and even occasionally surpassing) the quality those of their famous neighbors… often at much lower prices.
An instant favourite from François from his last trip to China. In line with traditional Liu Bao, the large brown leaves of this tea have been compressed into bamboo baskets to be aged. Strong aromas of forest undergrowth gracefully fuse with a soft liquor which includes spicy nuances (fennel) and sweet (maple water). A most refreshing tea!
This beautiful addition to our list of aged teas will please all lovers of rustic and traditional teas. Its large autumn leaves, picked a year after budding, come from ancient trees perched on the slopes of Shi Shan Mountain. Its liquor has a smooth and sweet texture enhanced by notes of camphor, ripe fruit and tobacco. Accents of spices and firewood, typical of ancient cultures, support a light and generous finish.
Aged tea made from the leaves trees over 100 years old in the Guo Gan region of Myanmar a region inhabited by minorities of Chinese origin.
This loose leaf Pu Er produced in the prolific Menghai tea factory and expertly preserved in Hong Kong will satisfy all amateurs of rich and balanced teas. Thirty plus years of ripening have enhanced this tea which, once infused, offers a dense and opaque liquor. Silky and generously sweet, it carries its effects deep down the throat giving the impression of a gentle massage. Nuances of wet wood, dates, incense and spices all lead towards a refreshing and minty finish, like we love them!
Shaped in tuo cha (bird nest) of 250g by the Xiaguan tea factory, this 30 years old Pu Er is to be tasted with attention and care. A generous rinse allows aromas of damp undergrowth and roots (beetroot) to prepare the infusion of a clear mineral liquor, deeply marked by notes of lichen and black earth. The sharp and slightly metallic attack slowly evolves towards a sweet finish with fine accents of berries, spices (anise) and camphor. A rare tea, deep and long lasting in taste, enhanced by subtle soothing effects.
This loose tea composed of whole leaves and delicate golden buds was dry aged in Hong Kong by Mr Chan. The infusion promises warm notes of leather and undergrowth. Its soft and mineral liquor is adorned with vegetal (lichen) and fruity fragrances typical of old pu er sheng. Its finish is simply sublime with the length and depth of its minty accents evocative of wintergreen.
Marked by the famous 7542 seal, this Sheng Pu Er cake sourced from Taiwan where it has been patiently preserved. After one or two rinses, it will release a few darker leaves as well as scents of humid wood, fresh spices (fennel) and leather. Its dark-red liquor is silky with a slight edge of pepper and has a mineral and earthy body reminiscent of lichee and beets. This Pu Er which holds the humid storage seal will surely please any fan of milder, earthy teas.
Here is a loose leaf Pu Er from the Menghai region which has since aged under dry storage in Hong Kong. The infusion of the large leaves, in multiple shades of dark khaki, fills the air with the fragrance of damp undergrowth and camphor. Its liquor is full and mineral, having a vegetal character (lichen) nuanced with accents of burnt wood and acid fruits. Its slightly spicy finish (cinnamon) is marked by a generous persistence of tannins.
This cake was produced according to one of the most popular recipes in the world of aged teas, and since the creation of this assemblage of medium grade leaves (4) in 1975 by the Menghai factory (2), enthusiasts have not ceased rejoicing. This nearly 20-year-old version, stored in the humid environment of Taiwan, already displays the mark of time by its aromas of damp burned wood and camphor. Its liquor, full and charged, develops fruity and mineral nuances followed by a refreshing mentholy finish. The first infusion is resinous and slightly bitter, an indication of its vitality and the …