Raw (Sheng) Ancient Tree Pu'er from Zhanglang, Yunnan
Grown in the wild, ancient forests in the southern tip of Yunnan and cared for by the Bulang people, this Gushu Pu'er is a reflection of the nature and ancient wisdoms of its origins.
Each time we open the pack, our noses fill with delight - We love the dry leaf smell of preserved tropical fruits, bringing to mind the sweetness of dried mangoes and apricot jam. Each sword-like leaf set, beautifully preserved, is something to be admired.
As we brew this tea, we enjoy the transition from rounded and fruity-sweet in the first few infusions - reminding us of Yue Guang Bai or Moonlight White tea - to more raw, earthy-woody tones of cut bamboo, and bitter sensations felt on the tongue. Open the gaiwan lid to smell the wet leaf, and you will feel as though you are walking through a forest in all its wilderness.
The contrasting pull between cooling sensations on the palate and warmth echoing throughout the body, as well as residual sweetness felt on both the tongue and throat, are some of the many characteristics we love about this tea. Both grounding and energizing, it brings us calm on days we most need it, and energy when we're feeling low.
We've selected Mr. Ai's early spring pluck from his ancient tea trees of over 600 years in age. Unblended and handcrafted from start to finish, producing only 10kg a year, this is his family's pride and passion.
The tea can be enjoyed in its present state, young and unaged, or it can be aged over the years, gaining complexity with time. We look forward to tasting it as the years go by (that is, of course, if we have any left)!
PICKED March 2021
ORIGIN Zhanglang, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan | Bulang People
LEAF Da Ye varietal, Gu Shu (ancient tea trees 600+ years old) | Bud and 2 leaves
CRAFT Picked, short-withered, wok-fried, rolled & sun-dried
NOTES Dried Mango, Apricot Jam, Bamboo, Sugarcane
BENEFITS May aid digestion
Gongfu Brew (Gaiwan): 8g | 150ml | 98°C | 10 sec | +3 secs for additional brews | Can steep ~ 15 times
Western Brew (Mug / Teapot): 5g | 350ml | 98°C | 1 min | + 20 secs for additional brews | Can steep ~ 5 times
Cold-Brew (Pitcher): 12g | 750ml | Room temp. | 8 hours in fridge | Strain & serve
Bordering Myanmar, Zhanglang village is home to the Bulang ethnic group who have been practicing their pu'er-making traditions for thousands of years.
We met this producer and family by pure chance, simply stumbling upon their modest processing facility during our stay in the tea village. Like many of the groups in this tea region, this family has owned and protected their ancient tea trees for many generations, cultivating its precious leaves through age-old traditions.
We observed as the family processed tea until the evening when Mr. Ai and his wife began frying pu'er leaves over a wok. Since that fateful encounter, we have remained in touch, and are excited to finally share his gushu pu'er with you!