Ancient Gold Needle
Ancient pu’erh tea trees are not uncommon in Yunnan, however we rarely come across any of the Jinggu Dabai, or “Big White,” varietal outside of Yangta Village. This rare varietal is native to Yangta and the trees have never spread far from where they originated.
On account of its rarity, the price of fresh leaves from the ancient Jinggu Dabai tea trees increases each year. Despite their climbing market value, Mr. Tang insists on making a very small amount of pu’erh from Jinggu Dabai every year, should he be so lucky as to find fresh leaves on the ancient tea trees.
This rare and unusual pu’erh Mr. Tang makes comes from a grove of 300 ancient Jinggu Big White tea trees near his property. The trees here are approximately 400 years old; they stand together in the only known grove of the ancient Big White varietal to exist. Their newly sprouted leaves are golden yellow, and their branches, covered in moss and lichen, are full of vitality.
The Jinggu Dabai varietal is subdivided into 9 varieties – the yellow buds are used to make this Ancient Gold Needle, and the other 8 varieties are used together in crafting the Ancient Big White that Cultivate also carries. The trees stand in the same grove of ancient tea trees that are over 400 years old and, just as the Ancient Big White, this pu’erh is “pure material,” meaning there hasn't been any mixing with leaves from younger tea trees.
The pu’erh cake is crafted by Mr. Tang following traditional techniques he studied locally. His intention for this Ancient Gold Needle is to craft a top-grade tea that exemplifies the finest characteristics of the ancient Jinggu Dabai pu’erh trees, when handled according to uncompromising traditional methods.
On the palate the tea is surprisingly delicate at first, soft apricot notes and escaping references to flowers. As its structure develops a network of energy distributes quickly and evenly throughout the body. There is a dense, fabric-like quality to this pu’erh: its tightly bound meshwork of tannins gathers us. As we spend time with it, we might feel woven.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||10+