Raw Reserve 2009, partially post-fermented Pu’er shengcha
Old Style Dark Tea:
Fine pu’er tea produced by darkening shengcha (raw tea, or maocha) naturally through maturity has a distinct and pleasant herbaceous high note. It is a lost art that mass production has come to replace. To deliver the pleasant tasting effect of Tea Hong Raw Reserve requires much specialistic attention in the process that is not common in the trade nowadays. This is what good pu’er used to taste like before controlled post-fermentation.
Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pillow pack
珍藏 自家後發酵 生普洱
Earthy, mild herbal aroma with an accent of forest freshness. Round, sweet infusion with a slight cereal note and an earthy accent. Silky tactility. Sweet aftertaste.
Infuse light for regular drinking, but can be made very strong for small sips after greasy meals. Always blanch well before infusion with 100°C water. Use a genuine Yixing pot for better results.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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The characteristics of this tea appear to morph like a chameleon, and it’s impossible to say which version is more enjoyable. Each infusion of Raw Reserve produced a different experience in color and taste. Using a zisha clay gaiwan, my first infusion unveiled espresso-dark liquor with the taste of unsweetened cocoa and salty mineral hints. The second infusion gave me midnight purple with a velvety texture, hints of bittersweet sassafras, and a lively tinkling on the tongue. The third produced a ruby-tart, deep cranberry concoction with a slightly sweet finish. While each infusion transformed into something different, the tea never weakened. I’m certain there are more surprises left in this shengcha pu’er, but I’d better put a lid on it and take a break before I get too tea-drunk.