Fermenting or ripening tea brings a whole new level of funk to tea making. It requires a lot of skill and there is so much badly ripened tea out there (watch out for those crazy fishy notes!) but when you find a good one it is addictively rich, dark and smooth. It may take a few sessions to get accustomed to that deep flavour but once smitten, nothing can ever replace the satisfying boldness and cleansing sensation of a good ripe tea.
Fengqing Shu Tuo 1998
Ripe PuErh aged since 1998 in Yunnan. Wet cave, new leather, medicinal bark and the slightest earthy apple sweetness. Excellent digestif.
A perfect digestif after a heavy meal and one of the secrets to keeping slim. Dark roasted plums and burnt vanilla wood with mulled dried orange.
Shu Pu Erh 2010
Ripe PuErh made from buds and baby leaves and aged since 2010. Wet caves, fresh paper, vanilla wood, whisky barrels and leather.