"Huang Pian or “yellow leaves” refers to the older leaves of the pu er plant. Tea in general is produced from the new growth of the tea plant, which is a long-lived perennial that sends forth new leaves seasonally, most notably in the spring. The new leaves and unopened leaf-buds are what make up high grade Chinese tea as we are most familiar with it. The farmers, after selling off the most valuable part of their crop, will retain and drink the yellowed older leaves for themselves. These leaves are much larger and more mature than normal tea. Many pu er farmers, especially seniors, actually prefer the robust taste of these less refined lower leaves, as well as the warmer and more mellow qi. Our Huang Pian are from the large leaf pu er trees of Nannuo Mountain, ranging in age from a decade to several centuries old. They produce a stout sheng pu er with a smooth, dry mouthfeel, golden liquor, notes of leather and old library, and milder flavor and energy than most young shengs. "
This tea is a purple breed of pu er. It was developed to meet the growing demand for the naturally occurring “wild” purple tea called Zi Ya Cha. Prized for its exquisite color, powerful chi and high content of anthocyanins, Zi Ya cha enjoyed a surge in popularity in the mid 1990’s, however its rarity makes it extremely expensive. Zi Juan cha or “purple grace” is a cloned strain of large leaf varietal pu’er that carries the purple leaf trait. It was bred from a mutant Zi Ya plant from Nannuo Mountain and a normal green pu’er plant from the Menghai Tea Research Institute. It has a mellow but distinct flavor that follows within the profile of large leaf sheng pu’er but with a darker, slightly more floral fragrance and an aftertaste reminiscent of blueberries or currants. As it steeps, the dark leaves take on a blue-ish cast from the anthocyanin infusion, achieving a dark green color after 12 to 15 steepings. The color of the liquor ranges from mauve to maroon and even to a grayish purple; this in contrast to the green-gold usually associated with fresh Sheng pu’er. Its qi is bright, euphoric and quite stimulating.
"This traditional style of scented sheng pu er is popular with the Bai minority peoples of Yunnan. Starting with high quality sheng (unfermented) pu er leaves from Nannuo mountain, the tea is scented with the leaves of Nuo Mi Xiang, an herb with a sweet cereal fragrance reminiscent of fresh cooked glutinous rice. The herb is said to aid in digestion, and it tempers the sometimes astringent quality of the fresh sheng pu er. It produces a pale green-gold infusion combining the floral fragrance of sheng pu er with the pleasant toasted grain aroma of the sticky rice fragrance plant, set against a background of characteristic Nannuo mountain minerality. "
This tea is a single-farm, single-mountain ancient tree sheng pu er tea grown and processed by master Li Shu Lin of Nannuo mountain. It is a blend of three ancient tree patches on Nannuo mountain: Douyi, Banpo, Shitou. These patches are known for their sweet, fragrant, and bitter characters respectively that produce a balanced blend. Limited quantities of ancient tree material mean that producing one large batch of a blend of different patches is more economical than focusing on specific ancient tree patches, although the market has been tending more toward the single-patch teas as consumers grow more sophisticated. This balanced, easy-to-steep tea makes a great introduction to the soft, sweet character and uplifting qi of high quality ancient tree sheng pu er without being prohibitively expensive.
Description coming soon...
This patch on Nannuo consists of ancient trees on the northeastern slope of the mountain. It is one of three patches that is combined to produce immortal dew, our classic ancient tree sheng pu-er blend. Of the three patches used, Banpo tea is known for being exceptionally fragrant. It has a distinctively umami character reminiscent of dried shiitake mingled with layers of a sweet, vegetal aroma and hints of lemongrass and sweet hay.
Descriptions coming soon...
Qian Nian Ye Sheng Cha means “Thousand Year Wild Tea”, and is picked from the wild ancestor of the Yunnan tea plant, Camellia crassicolumna. These wild plants are randomly distributed throughout the forest - as opposed to planted in convenient patches - and the buds, known as Ya Bao when processed as tea, only appear once a year, in the middle of winter. Each bud opens into 3-5 colorful leaves, which may be red, white, purple, or green. Qian Nian Ye Sheng is made from the fully-mature, opened leaves that emerge from these buds. In flavor it is smooth, vegetal, and herbaceous with notes of summer squash, with a soft olive oily savor, and red bell pepper with a crisp fragrance evocative of a dry, grassy meadow.
The trait of purple leaves is a naturally-occurring, random mutation that is found in populations of tea plants all over the world. Research and analysis in the late 20th century found that this purple color denoted the presence of anthocyanins a class of purple and blue pigmented flavonoids. Anthocyanins are responsible for the color and “superfood” status of many purple and blue berries including blueberries, blackberries, and dark grapes. The appearance of purple anthocyanin pigmentation in tea plant is a rare mutation brought on by exposure to ultraviolet light at high altitudes. The discovery of the unique benefits of purple tea led to the emergence of a market for batches of pure purple pu’er which became known as Zi cha. The relative scarcity of this purple tea and the time and labor-intensive process of consolidating only purple leaves makes it a high end, luxury tea. While the advent of Zi Zhuan cha or “purple grace” has made purple tea more affordable in its cultivated form, Zi Ya cha remains highly sought after by connoisseurs for its distinctive character and powerful qi. Our Nannuo Mountain Zi Ya has a bright, clean flavor with little to no astringency, a delicate floral fragrance and a comparable uplifting energy making it one of our most popular top-shelf teas. Due to its rarity only a small quantity can be produced each year, typically enjoyed fresh, Zi Ya also ages well and is available both loose for immediate consumption and in the form of 100g mini-bings for easy storage.
Duoyi village is the highest point on Nannuo mountain at more than 1900 meters above sea level. Because of its elevation and the profusion of ancient trees, Duoyi village tea is considered some of the finest on Nannuo mountain and is known for having a particularly sweet character carrying notes of dried mango syrup, peach, and slight hints of goji berry. This tea is prized for its bright, sunny, somewhat euphoric qi.
Descriptions coming soon.