CUP CHARACTERISTICS: Delightful astringency and body with light creamy nut notes.
INGREDIENTS: White tea (Pu-Erh style)
INGREDIENTS FROM: China
REGION(S): Yunnan Province
GROWING ALTITUDES: 1500 - 4900 feet above sea level
GRADE(S): Compressed OP (Orange Pekoe)
MANUFACTURE TYPE(S): Special pu-erh process, Small batch hand crafted
ANTIOXIDANT LEVEL: Low
CAFFEINE LEVEL: Low
ARTISANAL NOTES: Packed in Canada at The Metropolitan Tea Company.
INFUSION: Emerald green
With a 5000-year-old product like tea, developments are always news. While pu-erhs have been around for centuries, white pu-erh only appeared in marketable quantities around the year 2000 - at the time, big news! Before 2000, white teas of any sort were produced in such limited quantities that to even dream of experimenting with them was unheard of. Certainly, extremely small quantities of white pu-erh had been produced in the past, but these were generally scooped up by the cream of Chinese society, government officials or tea loving high rollers in Hong Kong and Macau. This all changed with the democratization of the Chinese economy. This development saw a rise in the overall standard of living in China and with it, new interest rare specialty teas. These rare teas, white pu-erh among them, are generally only produced for the internal market. From time to time however, they can be purchased and brought over to the West. (The trick is to be in the right place at the right time.)
After fermentation, the tea is pressed into traditional pu-erh molds, steamed, packaged and stored. The finished cup is superb, weaving sweetish layers that hint at musk, earth, damp moss, leaves after rain and subtle orchid leading to a light lingering finish - a stunning tea. (We put this one in the life-altering category!)
Aging white pu-erh: Like fine wines, pu-erh can be aged for many years. As the tea ages it continues to ferment - its profile reacts to its environment and the leaf takes on new characteristics. Interestingly, white pu-erh, since it has only been produced in large quantities for a handful of years, has not built up a vintage history. As such, there is much speculation as to how time will treat the delicate cakes. The general consensus in the trade is that white pu-erh will age gracefully, developing a wonderfully sweet, noble, musty character.
MILK SUGAR LEMON MINT
NO NO NO NO
IDEAL BREWING TEMPERATURE: 100ºC/212ºF
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Break tea apart and place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).