Pu’erh Ripe Essence of Lincang 2019
Pu’erh Ripe is a fermented version of pu’erh raw tea. It has long been known that, left on their own, the microbes and fungi found naturally in pu’erh raw will ferment. Without intervention this transformation from a pu’erh raw to a pu’erh ripe will take between 20 and 25 years.
The form of pu’erh ripe that we know today was “invented” in the 1970’s. It’s fermentation is expedited by heat and humidity, so that instead of it taking 20 years, it takes around 6-8 months for the pu’erh raw to become a pu’erh ripe.
The Essence of Lincang is a small batch pu’erh ripe made from leaves from 200 years old tea trees. It is made by blending two harvests: the spring harvest and the autumn harvest, which adds complexity to this tea. Generally, leaves from ancient trees are rarely used to make pu’erh ripe, and are usually made into pu’erh raw, as they are considered more valuable that way. This is something that immediately drew us to this tea.
To ripen it, the leaves were carefully fermented on wooden pallets, off the ground to ensure cleanliness. The temperature and humidity of the room was strictly controlled. During fermentation, the tea developed the unique aroma of sweet rice wine. The tea was then aged for six months at room temperature, before being carefully pressed into cakes.
The result is a full bodied pu’erh that is an absolute pleasure to drink, especially for its young age. It is not as deep or ‘underground’ as many pu’erh raws, offering a more nuanced experience of fermented tea. It has notes of sweet glutinous rice, moist earth and jujube dates. Its mouthfeel is smooth and satisfying; the sensation is comparable to drinking consommé — rich in texture and flavor, but with clarity and purity. In this way it is both a nourishing and uplifting tea.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||10