365 Teas Challenge > Day 325 - Blended Shou Pu-erh

I am not sure if this will change in the future, but currently, I am at a stage where I appreciate pure (unblended) single-origin teas more than blended ones. Actually, let me elaborate a little what I mean by blending, which is my interpretation only.


Firstly, you can blend tea with non-teas. So, everything from herbal tea mixtures to scented teas (like jasmine) falls under this category. I have recently written about why I stopped drinking blended teas. You can read it here. Secondly, you can blend one tea coming from one region with others coming from others. Thirdly, you can blend different grades of tea coming from the same or different areas. As far as I could notice, the third category aims at cost reduction. The second and also third category is also done to provide a consistent taste to customers. For instance, the taste of teabags from big labels do not seem to change much over the years. Although, the tea's flavour is influenced by environmental conditions and teas from the same cultivar can differ in flavour and fragrance depending on the rain and other meteorological conditions and differences in processing. Instead of embracing the tea's aroma and flavours as it comes naturally, I wonder why consumers prefer consistent taste. But here we are. This also applies to champagne and wines. For instance, some traditional champagne makers mix their champagne from previous years to taste similar to their 'usual' profile.



Recently, I have heard about artisanal blending. I am not sure if I understand this concept well. It will work in theory if you improve the taste of tea by adding different varieties. For instance, this shu pu-erh is a blend, and it includes 7 different teas from 4 different years, 3 other areas and 4 different trees. The seller showcases this tea as a unique celebratory blend. To be honest, I am not convinced. The result is pleasant and smooth, but it did not occur to me as outstanding. Having said that I have not tried the individual teas that make up this blend. So, I cannot make a claim.

However, I can say that I appreciate tasting single-origin teas, and this also allows me to compare them with each other. Pu-erh tea blending like this tea is not new at all. We can see that historically this has been made and some recipes were created that lasted for decades. See for instance Menghai Dayi 7542 from 2009.

Tea Profile:


Type: Pu-erh (dark)

Origin: Various places in Yunnan including Yiwu and Mansa

Harvest time: Various years from 2016 and 2018

Leaf colour: Tones of brown

Liquor colour: Dark burgundy

Tea Aroma: Earthy and fruity

Tea taste: Smooth with earthiness and woodiness

Steeping/brewing:

  1. Place 6 g of this tea in a tea pot and add about 100 ml water at around 100°C.

  2. Rinse after 20 sec.

  3. Steep for 10 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 5. You can re-steep this tea about ten times.

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