Wenshan White Pu-erh has a mild oakiness that enlivens this premium Yunnan! The finished cup is superb, weaving sweetish layers that hint at musk, earth, damp moss, leaves after rain and subtle orchid leading to a light lingering finish - a stunning tea.
Country of Origin: China
Region: Yunnan Province
Shipping Port: Shenzhen
Altitude: 5200' ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: White Pu-erh
Cup Characteristics: Delightful astringency and body with light creamy nut notes
Infusion: Emerald green
Luxury Ingredients: Luxury white pu-erh tea
With a 5000-year-old product like tea, developments are always news. While pu-erhs have been around for centuries, white pu-erh only appeared in marketable quantities around the year 2000 at the time, big news! Before 2000, white teas of any sort were produced in such limited quantities that to even dream of experimenting with them was unheard of. Certainly, extremely small quantities of white pu-erh had been produced in the past, but these were generally scooped up by the cream of Chinese society, government officials or tea loving high rollers in Hong Kong and Macau. This all changed with the democratization of the Chinese economy. This development saw a rise in the overall standard of living in China and with it, new interest rare specialty teas. These rare teas, white pu-erh among them, are generally only produced for the internal market. From time to time however, they can be purchased and brought over to the West. (The trick is to be in the right place at the right time.)
We're thrilled to have been at the right time and place for the release of this tea. From our first tasting in Yunnan, we knew it was a standout. Making it is something of an art - artisans hand select the buds and top leaf of the broad-leafed white tea genus. Next, the crop is piled on a table and selected leaf by leaf for perfect color and form. The tea is then fermented very mildly and hand sorted a second time. [Now, we'll stop for a moment. Fermented white tea? Yes. In order to be officially labeled as pu-erh, even traditionally unfermented teas, (white varieties included), must be fermented. According to the Bureau of Standard Measurement of Yunnan Province, pu-erh teas are officially: "products fermented from green tea of big tea leaves picked within Yunnan Province. After fermentation, the tea is pressed into traditional pu-erh molds, steamed, packaged and stored. The finished cup is superb, weaving sweetish layers that hint at musk, earth, damp moss, leaves after rain and subtle orchid leading to a light lingering finish a stunning tea. (We put this one in the life-altering category!)
Aging white pu-erh: Like fine wines, pu-erh can be aged for many years. As the tea ages it continues to ferment - its profile reacts to its environment and the leaf takes on new characteristics. Interestingly, white pu-erh, since it has only been produced in large quantities for a handful of years, has not built up a vintage history. As such, there is much speculation as to how time will treat the delicate cakes. The general consensus in the trade is that white pu-erh will age gracefully, developing a wonderfully sweet, noble, musty character.
Enjoying white pu-erh now: It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy this tea now. In fact, white pu-erh is often recommended to new pu-erh drinkers because of its mild flavor. So go ahead, break off a piece and brew a pot.
Hot brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of broken Pu-Erh for a 3-cup teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). This tea is best enjoyed on its own although a dash of milk can help open the earthy character of this tea.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or 'milky' when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!