Bulang Old Tree 2011
USD 32.80 – USD 218.00
Stone Mortar Pressed Shu Cha Bing
Post-fermentation in pu’er production is like black tea processing in that it gives sweetness, roundness and body to a tea, although it is a far more specialised, time-consuming and difficult method to master. The result, however, is a shu cha possible of a far more complex and intriguing taste profile. To achieve that, we need to begin with a good raw material. That’s where the old tea tree forests in Bulang Mountain comes in. The diversity in these wild growing trees and the deep rich soils they grow in offer leaves that are not only rich in polyphenols, but also minerals and amino acids that are the prerequisites for an outstanding tea. That is why the subregion is one of the most renowned in Yunnan.
Tea Hong has selected a very small workshop who respects the process so much that they even manually compress the post-fermented tealeaves using traditional style stone mortars rather than a pneumatic press. Their mastery results in a very firmly formed cha bing with a deep full body. Presenting Tea Hong’s Bulang Old Tree 2011. Handpicked first flush painstakingly post-fermented for 75 days before compression. Den matured at Tea Hong for those who want a lot from their shu cha pu’er.
There are two product variants to choose from:
A single discus of 357g net weight in the original paper wrap, or a traditional vending form of 7 cha bings bundled in a bamboo sleeve, net weight totalling 2.5 kg.
Please click below to see either options.
茶香行私藏 2011 布朗古樹茶
My tea assistant says the aroma is rather like a walk in the garden. Indeed the usually procured adjective of “earthy” for shu pu’er isn’t nearly as descriptive as the idea of strolling down small fields of exotic plants and curious little flowers after the rain and under a clear sky. The overtone of “earth” is definitely there though, so the usual adjective isn’t out of place at all, just not enough.
Besides plants and flowers, that garden in her description must be lined also with small baskets of sun-dried longan and strawberries, perhaps a few bunches of raisins, and some truffles too.
The infusion is tactilely supple, made much lighter in impression because of the minty sweetness that underlies the smooth, full and yet very soft body. This minty sweetness comes as if from a very fine quality liquorice root blended with a little American ginseng and monk fruit. It cools and relaxes the palate for a very long time.
If you prefer to be carefree with this tea, it is delicious with a wide tolerance of tea to water ratio and infusion time as long as you use near 100°C water and always blanch the leaves before the initial infusion.
A well aged shu pu’er made from a rich material like Bulang Old Tree can be made really dark and can still be smooth and supple. It’s only how dense a liquor your senses have been trained to receive.
To understand the tea’s more sophisticated profile, begin with 5g to each 100ml water for a lighter entry into the tea by infusing for 80 seconds. The beauty of the tea comes in after the second round, 110 sec infusion time.
Repeat for as many rounds as you please, but like any other shu pu’er, it does drop off a little sooner than sheng pu’er, which is logical considering the complex and arduous bio-chemical changes the leaves have to go through to offer such unique taste.
The unique sweetness of the tea does maintain throughout though.
There is no need for using a Yixing teapot for a well aged and well-made shu pu’er such as Bulang Old Tree. That is unless you are experimenting with higher leaf to water ratio to see how dense you can make this tea while maintaining a balanced palate.
We have stored this tea under our own controlled environment since production for the pristine condition of this product. Once you have broken the cha bing, it is advisable to keep the wrapping paper separately. Keep the discus in the foil bag that we ship to you with, or in any other similarly air tight container. Always touch the naked discus wearing gloves to make sure nothing else grow on that solid mass during storage.
For a good comparative study between a shengcha and a shu cha, do taste this Bulang Old Tree against our aged Bulang Silver Spring.