8g dragon pearls | Mengku Sheng Puer [Ancient Tree]
How to make Mengku Sheng Puer [Ancient Tree]
Picked : March 25th 2016
Compressed : 15th May 2016
Standard : One bud & two leaves or one bud & three leaves
Tea Trees : Located near a small village of East Banshan aged ~400 years
Sourced : Personally by Michelle in April 2016
Profile : Raw puer ("sheng puer" in Chinese 生普洱茶) consists of green leaves that have been wok fried to fix the leaf enzymes, rolled and sun-baked to reduce moisture before compressing. This young raw puer is astringent yet sweet with a light yellow liquor.
If this puer is stored correctly it will, over time, slowly oxidize and ferment to - years later - produce a dark sweet and mellow liquor
Temperature of water: Infuse at 100 C (212 F)
GAIWAN : Place the dragon pearl in 180ml fresh water. Blanch then infuse for 6 seconds. Further infusions add 5-10 seconds. Reinfuse at least 7 times.
Number of infusions: Up to 7
How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar
In more depth...
Provenance: Mr Ni, Nai Sai [Ancient] Garden. Snow Mountain Tea Factory, East Banshan, Mengku, SW Yunnan
A little more about Puer :
There are two types of Puer, Sheng Cha (raw tea) or Shu Cha (ripe tea). Sheng Cha is created when Máochá is compressed, naturally aged and then matured for several years. All Puer begins in this way. The traditional style Puer are then compressed to again make Sheng Cha. The compression forms them into bings (cakes or disks). These are then aged for many years. It normally takes a long time for this type to turn dark in the modern environment, usually five to eight years before the colour is acceptable and another two to three before they are “ripe” enough. Therefore most Sheng Puer are not considered aged until at least 10 years.
The more modern style of Puer (Shu Cha) go through another process before this final compression. This is ‘Wo Dui’ ripening, when the leaves are placed in a temperature and humidity controlled room for several months. This speeds up the post-fermentation to copy that of an aged raw Sheng Cha. The leaves are then compressed to form Shu Cha bings. Shu Cha is also available in loose form.
Both types appeal to different drinkers. Shu Cha offers an increased smoothness and lower bitterness straight away, whereas Sheng Cha takes many years to develop a similar character. Both types can be aged further, but Sheng Cha will develop a greater complexity over time. Shu Cha will not develop dramatically over time. Another major difference is cost, with Aged Sheng Cha bings sometimes being sold for thousands of pounds. In fact there are Puer collectors who have long wish lists of named vintages from various established makers, which are either rare or highly regarded.