Bulang Shou – The Dawn Driver

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Bulang Shou – The Dawn Driver



Quick Facts
The Story 
Suggested Serving 

Quick Facts

  • Bulang Shou (Ripe) - The Dawn Driver Puerh
  • Region: Bulang Mountain Region
  • Type: Medium Altitude Puerh (1300-1500 meters)
  • Harvest: Autumn 2018
  • Harvesters: Bulang minorities
  • Ideal for adding Chrysanthemum or Jasmine, it is also a great base for adding oils, such as Hemp, MCT, or others for an intensifying absorption rate.

The Story

  We’ve moved to a ripe ‘Shou’ Puerh for our February, 2019 offering, to add a touch of warm dark heat to the cup. Continuing on with our new nomenclature, we’ve called this offering, ‘The Dawn Driver’ for its soft qualities and ability to be taken on an empty stomach first thing in thing in the morning or later in the day without nailing the system with too many stimulants.

A tea grower brings in a sample of freshly harvested leaves.

Tea bricks lie drying on racks.

 Always a challenge when we move between Shou Puerhs and Sheng Puerhs. We’ve long been adherents to the idea of promoting the raw Shengs, as they have traditionally been lesser known outside of Asia and are more of a true representative of where they come from. Soil quality, humidity, and mineral content are all expressed through a good Sheng. It is in the Sheng that a terroir is expressed in the cup and many have taken to the slightly more astringent green Shengs, liking their expression of soil, pan frying and hand craft. Shou teas are another set of characteristics all together being nuttier, earthier, and softer in tones and notes. While we prefer the Shengs, we still offer up the odd Shou, as there are those amongst you who like a little fermented action.


These leaves, in raw or ‘Sheng’ form will go through another stage to become a ‘Shou’ or ripe form. Loose raw leaves (uncompressed into any solid form) are spread evenly in a layer and have microbes and bacteria added to them which will in time artificially ‘age’ and darken the leaves all the while softening the flavour notes. 

  The entire Bulang Mountain region provides not only great raw materials. It has long provided many herbs and native plants that are used for medicinal use and for daily diet of the local Lahu, Bulang, Hani, Dai, and Wa peoples.

  Harvested by the local Bulang people these leaves still contain some of the fresh notes from an autumn 2018 pluck. Shou Puerhs are often stored within earthen caves to give them some damp earthy notes. This Puerh has been dry stored and is a neutral flavoured tea that will settle with time. The Bulang region is one of our favourite sources for leaves that will become a Shou as they are hearty enough to still carry through some of their inherent strength into the softening process of Pile Fermentation.


The gnarled branches of an ancient tea tree showing the tell-tale signs of a pesticide-free area with mosses and critters roaming at will.


Dail women manually sort through leaves removing stems and other visually undesirable bits. These little items, though unsightly have very little to do with the quality or taste of the final product. These stems and leaves will be put into other batches of tea, consumed by locals who care little for what a tea ‘looks’ like.

 Harvested from bushes from 50-70 years old between 1300 and 1500 metres, this ripe Puerh is an easy sipper – a Dawn Driver.

Suggested Serving

 Play and tinker with infusion times with this Bulang Dawn Driver and play with the leaf amounts. Shou’s need a first rinse so do give a brief cleanse to the leaves. Easy on the digestive tract, Shou’s are great for after meals, and easy for the first sips of the day.

  If this is your first tea cake, here is a step-by-step guide on how to break and prepare a tea cake.

  Use fully boiled water for infusing this Dawn Driver offering.

  We recommend not less than 6 grams per serving; ideally with 8-12 grams being recommended. Shorter infusion times with more leaves are the way in southern Yunnan’s Puerh cultivating regions and we’re with that philosophy.

    • First rinse infusion - 10-20 seconds to open the leaves. This infusion shouldn't be consumed. Simply discard it.
    • First drinkable infusion - 15-25 seconds or more depending on taste.
    • Second and third - we recommend increasing times by 10-20 seconds per infusion to wring as much of the full flavor from the leaves as possible.
    • Fourth, fifth infusions and onwards - we suggest 40-50 seconds per infusion. Once again though, be sure to experiment to find what works for your palate. 

Read all about, and tips, for storing your puerh collection.

Don't be shy to ask me any questions about your tea leaves or anything related at jeff@jalamteas.com. You have my ears and I will get back in touch with you.