On the 4th day of this challenge, I wrote about Gong Ting Pu-erh, which is a fine and fragrant shu (ripe/cooked) pu-erh. This one was older and came in a dried tangerine. Citrus has been famously blended with black teas and pu-erh teas. However, I do think that it suppresses Gong Ting’s fine aromas.
Gong Ting pu-erh tea is not always preferred by pu-erh drinkers as its ‘endurance’ is not as high as other pu-erh teas. This means that after a couple of steeps the tea loses its delicate fragrance.
This tea has been stuffed into the rind of a dried tangerine when wet and then sundried before it was stored for ageing. If you like the benefits of pu-erh but not necessarily like the earthy taste if offers, perhaps this tea can work for you as the tangerine cuts through the sharp malt and earthy notes.
By the time I drank this tea, it had been aged for almost 9 years which is considered a good age for shu pu-erh. However, the taste started to fade away after the third steep which makes the tea slightly off-putting especially you are into eternal teas.
Enjoy your cuppa!
Type: Dark tea
Origin: Yunnan Province
Harvest time: 2012
Leave colour: Dark brown/red
Liquor colour: Bright dark red
Tea aroma: Earthy and citrus
Steeping/brewing: Unlike other pu-erhs, you should not use boiling water which may scorch the tender leaves. Try to wait a couple of minutes after boiling water and even so try not to pour the water directly on the leaves. Steep for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves a few times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: 30 years or more, if stored correctly (to improve shelf life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, dark place with low temperatures)