Lessons with Tao: Ancient Pu-er

     Since the end of July I have been with Tao Tea Leaf and have learnt a lot since. A few weeks ago, with some friends we began the day tasting an Ancient Tree Pu-er. I have never had the chance to try this type of tea, but I have always wanted to . Others in the online Tea Community have written many pages on this type,but this is a first for me.
       The tea we tried was 2009 Bing Dao , Tao described it as the “Queen or Pu-er” latter in the day. On an empty stomach this tea made me feel warm and I had a light sweat. This feeling was new to me, I wish I knew why the body has such a reaction after drinking it.
   As we continued to brew Tao invited Mike our guest who came in with his wife, to explain “Qi” to me. 
    Qi has been mentioned on many blogs I have read, It is hard to describe. To put it simply its how the tea effects your body, to understand this more I suggest giving this type of pu-er. 

 The teas dry leaves have a sweet biscuit like scent to them that,when
steeped, opens up to a stone fruit taste with a hint of menthol (Hui Gan is the name for this). A
lingering mouth feel, as the menthol coats your pallet  The body feels warm and
the tea makes you sink into your chair further, becoming more centered and
aware of its weight. As the body adjusts to the
tea, we found it hard to control our body from burping. This is a very natural occurrence, each time it made the body feel like it was fixing something from within.

       Latter in the afternoon We sat down again to try Ban Zang 2011, which I was told was the “King of Pu-er”.

Smelling the wet leaves has a menthol smell, it feels like it
opens the sinuses. It has a very young taste. The taste is similar to a good
cigar and the smell takes us to a secluded creek. As the body adjusts to the
tea, we found it hard to control our body from burping. It has a strong Cha Qi , Tao tells me which causes this.This is a very natural occurrence,
each time it made the body feel like it was fixing something from within.

           There are two villages in the area this is made, new and old. The old village
is located apart from the new, where this tea originates. The area experiences
a thick fogginess for  about a third of
the year, due to its high altitude. There are thousands of old trees that vary
in age, from over 100 years old to over 800 years old. 
  Have you tried Ancient Tree Pu-er before?  I would love to hear about your experience with them. 

Global Tea Hut Tea of The Month- February

Tea: 2010 Mt. Ai Lao Sheng Puerh

   I have yet to read the newsletter but I am thrilled to have received this package today. With the tea and newsletter Wu De has included an art piece painted with old puerh featuring the characters for “Cha Dao”. This small peice of art is now displayed above my desk till I get a frame for it. I am going to have some of the tea latter this week, check back to this page for updates!

Xantou Mandarin White- Lauriam Tea House

 Lauriam Tea House is located in Bowmanville, around a hour and a half drive to about 2 hours by train east of Toronto. My mom introduced me to the shop when I was still in school and now it is a favorite hangout when I visit my family. Tea is served to you in a white tea pot along side delicate china cups. As I was introduced to Afternoon Tea through this tea ware before it has become quite nostalgic. This tea is a White Tea Puerh, which has absorbed the sweet mandarin qualities of its fermentation “container”. The leaves are dense inside the dried fruit, I had to resort to using a pick from my tea tools to pick enough leaves out.  The wet leaves are quite young and very uniform in size, being not longer than an inch.  They smell subtly sweet, unlike the dry leaves which have more of a mandarin smell to them.
       The resulting tea is creamy and sweet. Coaxing out a salivating sensation. There is a sweet peach taste on the back of my tongue, which is the reason for me keeping such a tea close at hand. The liquor is a beautiful amber hue. I found it slowly dissipated in colour over the infusions I was able to coax out of the leaves. At this finial infusion only the salivating sensation remains and a dull sweetness with no characteristic I can pin point.
     I have bought this tea quite a few times over the last few years. Only pulling it out to get frustrated with the “container”, something that I just have to learn more about over time.Much practice is needed for this storage method of Puerh.