Ripe PuErh tea differs from Raw in a few ways. Firstly and most fundamentally, ripe tea is fermented and oxidised at the factory within a few months of picking. They do this wet piling the leaves on permeable floors which have been seeded with sought after bacteria and fungal colonies in order to transform the raw leaves into delicious and rich tea.
The fermenting or ripening warehouses have to be kept immaculately and the leavese tended to regularly in order to ensure that the right kinds of cultuires are working on the leaves - get it wrong and the tea can easily taste a bit fishy and funky.
The second big difference between ripe and raw is the choice of pickings. For raw PuErh the most prized selection is the bud and up to 4 leaves which have been allowed to grow thick and pliable. For ripe tea there tends to be a preference for earlier picked tea and the more bud laden the material the higher the grade in general.
This Malt Geezer is an example of these two factors (immaculate production and choice pickings) coming together to make a supreme ripe (shu) PuErh tea. It is Gong Ting grade which is the highest grade with a rich proportion of orange, golden buds making for a syrupy and malty liquor.
In this video we unveil the 'Geezer' and give it a full tasting.