Ripened Pu Erh made from 1000 year old tea trees and aged for over 5 years. Mellow, thick aged rum coloured liquor. Wet rocks and roasted red date sweetness with a juicy, mineral rich finish.
Dark roasted dates and wet stone aroma with a distinctly medicinal quality. The body is luxuriously thick and smooth which transforms to a fresh and cleansing finish. The aftertaste builds with subsequent cups as the mineral content of the leaf coats the throat and tongue to create a mellow sweetness and distinct juiciness. You may feel the surface of the tongue fizz slightly with the high mineral content.
Most ancient tea trees (aged from 600 years and above) are used to make very high quality Raw PuErh. This cake is a bit of an oddity in that such high quality leaves were used to make a cooked PuErh. When I asked the farmer why he did this he said it was an experiment but that he could make a lot more money selling the leaves as raw. He doubts that he will do it again so I am not sure we will be able to get these cakes after we have sold out.
When we tasted the tea we were very impressed that the taste was clean and rich as a properly cooked PuErh should be (no funky dried squid aroma), but the finish revealed the wonderful juicy and almost fizzy sensation that comes from ancient tea trees. The older the tree the higher the mineral content in the leaf which makes for a richer flavour and a more exciting mouthfeel. This is because the older, semi-wild trees grow more slowly (they are not trying to establish themselves) and have larger, deeper roots to suck up the minerals from the Yunnan earth.
This tea is from Ba Da mountain area close to the border with Burma. It is one of the most revered in Yunnan famed for its semi-wild forests which are farmed by the Bulang and Hani ethnic minorities. After picking and processing it is fermented for about 2 months before being compressed into cakes. These cakes were made in 2010 and they have undergone wet ageing in Yunnan for 5 years. Whilst the ageing of cooked tea is not strictly necessary, it does improve the smoothness of the tea and clear any mustiness that may have developed during fermentation.