Some of tea’s main health benefits are due to a subclass of polyphonic molecules called Catechins, which are antioxidants. Generally, black teas contain less of these elements, while green raw (this present Orchid Sheng, for example, contain more. Oxidization eliminates many of the catechins.
Our “Orchid” Sheng is designated as such due not to any enhanced flavourings, or additions of florals or petals, but for the wild orchids that layer the forest regions of Bulang Mountain and Mang Ngoi village area, where this tea is cultivated.
Thick parasitic orchid vines take hold on tea trees and bushes, and in turn, become very much part of the tea landscape. It has been called the ‘the lands of the orchid’ by some locals.
A tea session or tasting is often nothing more than sucking back different villages’ teas in ridiculous amounts. All that is needed are some good leaves, some water, and a thirst.
This old tree Sheng is from bushes over 100 years old on gentle slopes that rest at around 1300 metres. Older than many of the nearby ‘grandchildren’ bushes but younger than the ancient tea trees in the area, some of which are centuries’ old, this offering of old leaves carry something more complex in the mouth and more laden with minerals and antioxidants. The Hani, the Lahu and the Dai peoples all have their wonderful hands on this current offering which is a summer 2018 harvest.
Part of a home in Dali that once housed muleteers whos caravans were hauling tea north into Yunnan and Tibet.
Your cake will show some of the telltale light coloured buds along with a range of larger leaves that give serious layers of mineral-tones in the mouth over successive infusions. Mang Ngoi lies within the greater Bulang Mountain range and the entire region is known for its rich orange clay soils, and it is these rich mineral-laden soils that contribute so much to the flavour of our Orchid.
Leaves growing amidst oregano (which provides a kind of natural barrier to many pests). Tea can be something other than the monocrop that it has been often depicted.
In the often (and sometimes deliberately) complicated lexicon of flavour notes, our Mang Ngoi is known for, what is sometimes referred to as ‘tail notes’. Tail notes persist and remain as sensations after the actual nectar has disappeared and been swallowed. Sometimes complex, it is worth exhaling through the nostrils keeping a closed mouth after you’ve had a sip of this Orchid, to feel some of the layers of this old tree offering.
Tea vessels of clay can handle any tea, provided one doesn’t mix and match! One kind of tea for one kind of clay. Boiling water is handled by the clays, and after finishing off with the leaves, all remaining plant matter should be removed and the pot washed out with boiling water and left to evaporate.
Generally, the older the trees, the more complex and smooth a tea will be. This is all dependent of course upon a good pair of hands to produce the leaves and a good clean environment for storage.
Play and tinker with infusion times with this Orchid and play with the leaf amounts. This Sheng does not necessarily require a first rinse. Our procurer Jeff loves to take old tree Sheng’s first infusions down, particularly when he knows that the teas have been well produced. Soothing, with great finishing notes, it is a tea that opens up beautifully over successive infusions
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.
Don't be shy to ask me any questions about your tea leaves or anything related at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have my ears and I will get back in touch with you.