Pu Erh tea has been a rustic tea since time remembers. Most of the Chinese green teas require fine picking (using the varieties of small leaves tea plants, selecting young buds and leaves that are as small and tender as possible). Pu Erh, on the other hand, are produced from a varieties of tea plants that not only includes the young buds, but also the first three or four leaves of their harvest.
This rustic picking has also been the popular type of harvests for centuries in the countryside of the Golden Triangle. These leaves were also used to produce the biggest cakes in the history of Chinese Pu Erh tea in the first half of the twentieth century in the Yi Wu region. Looking at those big antique bricks, you will immediately notice the large size of the leaves. They are also looser and less twisted in shape compared to what we usually see in Yunnan nowadays.
This was produced from particularly large leaves (grade 12) and was fermented (through Wo Due) 15 years ago in the Menghai region. Besides of its traditional picking, this tea is also remarkably light fermented, which leaves room for natural ripening, and allows the typical character of old Pu Erh to develop over time. After 15 years of natural ripening, it has reached an interesting and balanced combination between its previous accelerated fermentation (wo due) stage and the natural ripening that followed.
Year of harvest: 2002