Yiwu is a big name as far as sheng pu-erh is concerned. As one of the top Six Yunnan Pu-erh Tea Mountains, sheng pu-erh from Yiwu is considered one of the best. I was surprised to read on Zhang’s “Puer Tea” book that tea makers in Yiwu have not opted for producing shu (artificially fermented) pu-erh. Zhang also mentions that they are proud of their pu-erh and think that such high-quality tea should only be fermented naturally.
This tea comes with a very long name which includes the name of the tea farmer/master. It is excellent to be able to track a tea down to its producer who happens very rarely. Also, this farmer is famous for growing tea ecologically. Indeed, this tea had a title ‘shen tai’ which means ‘naturally grown’.
This tea is made out of leaves of tea trees with ages up to 80 years which is considered middle-age for pu-erh production. I was amazed how this tea started with astringent and floral notes which turned into sweeter ones after the fifth steeping. The astringency element came with vegetal notes, and it had hui gan (“comeback sweetness”). Despite its young age, I could taste some earthy and woody notes as well. Overall, it was an enriching experience.
I do love this pu-erh and enjoyed sharing it with my friends today.
Source: Zhang, Jinghong. “Puer Tea.”
Origin: Yiwu Shan, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Harvest time: 2018
Leave colour: Tones of green and light brown with some golden tips
Liquor colour: Dark yellow
Tea aroma: Floral and vegetal
Tea taste: Astringent, floral, woody, vegetal with hui gan. After the fifth steeping a pleasant sweetness kicks in.
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 30 years and possibly more