Finding good quality, raw, aged Gushu PuErh is not easy. This is especially true when we are trying to find enough to supply our clients. There are a few problems with aged PuErh tea. First is the price which can get silly. Second is the quality - aged tea is certainly not always good tea (despite the price tag) because if it was not from good pickings or was not processed well, then the cakes may have been sitting around for so many years because nobody really wanted them when the tea was young.
We are always on the search for good quality, acceptably priced aged Sheng PuErh and we have kissed a lot of frogs to find this star of a tea from Jing Mai.
This is a semi-aged tea which is coming out of its awkward phase. What we mean is that, for us, the majority of raw PuErh tastes great when consumed fresh and after a few years it shifts and changes to develop some aged tastes (which goes on for another 20 or more years). In years 3-5 we find that the tea does not have enough aged flavours whilst also losing its youthful vibrancy. We call this the awkward, teenager phase of a PuErh. This is not a golden rule and it is always great to taste PuErh's yearly but in our experience, we prefer cakes fresh or 7+ years.
This Jing Mai tea is the perfect opportunity to pick up a tea and age further. In 5 years you will have a 10-year-old cake which would command a considerably higher price. However, that is not to say that it is not a gorgeous tea to drink immediately. The relatively wet storage (Shenzhen storage which is similar to Hong Kong) has super boosted the maturation of the tea leading to woodsy, plummy and fortified wine flavours. We fell in love with it the moment we sniffed on that multi-layered and sweet aroma and we highly recommend buying at least one for your collection.