Last autumn, I went to Pu-erh Town in Yunnan for a tea sommelier course organised by the International Tea Academy. We have covered some theoretical background and conducted some practical tea tasting and evaluation sessions. Moreover, we had a chance to gain hands-on experience in crafting tea which was priceless.
We first started to pluck tea, I was careful and focusing on buds, and the first leaves so were my classmates. We were eight and spent an hour each, which makes a labour day. We then went onto withering the leaves on wok heat and rolling them by hand. The drying of the tea finished on a machine, as it was our last day and we had limited time. As a result, we could take away about 20 gr of this cake.
I have to say that when I opened the package after almost a year, I was delighted at the beautiful perfume of the leaves. The floral aroma was still fresh. As for the taste, it was also alright. But it still carried an astringent character which was not totally unpleasant. I suppose this could have been navigated by steeping for a shorter period. It was a good tea, I have to say and the experience of crafting it, made me appreciate the artisanal teas even more.
Origin: Puerh, Yunnan, China
Harvest time: October 2019
Leave colour: Tones of green (infused leaves also showed some reddish sections)
Liquor colour: Light yellow
Tea aroma: Floral
Tea taste: Slightly astringent with floral undernote
Steeping/brewing: Place 3 g of this tea in a 100 ml gaiwan and pour water at 85°C. Rinse the first steeping after three seconds. Infuse the leaves for 10 sec for the second steeping and add 5 sec to the next steeping.
Shelf life: Fresher the better