Last month, I tried my first bamboo aged pu-er. When I was looking through my stash, I found this and wanted to try it as well!
Description: “The tea starts with a bitter character and becomes sweeter as the session progresses, the tea flavors meld with the bamboo throughout.”
Review: The white2tea website noted that the tea uses 2015 huanpian (larger, older pu-erh leaves) pu-er material and was produced in autumn of 2015 using a traditional technique for bamboo pu-er pressing. white2tea had more information regarding the processing:
The process of making bamboo Puer is somewhat similar to pressing a raw Puer cake, in that the leaves are steamed into a pliable state and then compressed. However, with bamboo Puer, the steam comes from the moisture of the freshly cut bamboo. The dry maocha [loose leaf raw Puer tea] is placed inside of a freshly cut piece of bamboo and then a leaf is placed inside the top as a cover.
Since the website or the packaging didn’t provide steeping recommendations, I decided to use the same as Zhen Tea’s Qian Liang Cha 2012, which was 5g/90ml at 100°C for 20 secs, 2nd & 3rd infusion for 30 seconds.
With that being said, the dry leaves of the Big Leaf Bamboo were tightly compressed into a cylinder and looked a bit like plywood. The leaves had a faint woodsy and earthy smell. When breaking apart the tea, it broke into small pieces and dust. After warming the gaiwan, I added the tea into a warm vessel and it had a woodsy, earthy, and mushroomy smell.
Infusion 1 (20 seconds): The liquor was a golden yellow with little black specks at the bottom of the cup. The tea had faint hay, earthy, and floral taste. The sip ended off with some dryness in the mouth.
Infusion 2 (30 seconds): The liquor was more of a reddish-golden brown. The liquor coated the mouth and tasted of earth, mushrooms, with some dryness lingering in the mouth. Since the leaves were in small pieces, they were mostly unfurled by the second infusion.
Infusion 3 (45 seconds): The infusion was slightly lighter golden yellow with a faint woody and earthy taste that lingered in the mouth. There was a fair bit of astringency at the end of the sip.
Infusion 4 (1 minute): The astringency mellowed out, and there was more of an earthy, floral and musky taste. After a few seconds, dryness seeped into the mouth.
Infusion 5 (1 minute and 15 seconds): The liquor was mostly clear and darker than previous infusions. There was a hint of astringency with a faint earthy taste.
Overall, I have to say, it is interesting to see how the Zhen Tea’s Qian Liang Cha 2012 and this tea differ both visually and taste despite both being processed using bamboos. This is what I love about tea – learning and investigating all the different teas out there.
That being said, bitter teas are something I am still becoming familiar with and not what I tend to reach for as I generally like sweeter teas. I have a lot of exploring to do (2.5/5 rating)!
- Type: Pu-erh tea
- Origin: China, Yunnan
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Pu-er tea
- Company: white2tea
The question of the post: What is your favourite unique processing method?