A Hani home deep into the Nannuo Mountains with all essentials grown close by in the forests or in gardens. These homesteads too though are have the modern world slowly move in. One can only hope their tea forests remain relatively out of the way.
Easy on the digestive track, low in acidity and a great example of a tea that can be taken cold or hot, and an ideal tea for first thing in the morning to gently flush and stimulate the system.
Born, harvested, and produced on Nannuo Mountain, it is one of the wonderful examples of what makes a tea a great tea: simplicity. Family plots of forest, small pan frying rooms in the basement of homes and drying racks that sit covered just outside of households enhances the single origin, ‘local’ feel and character of a tea.
Tongs traditionally use either banana skin or bamboo to wrap the tea cakes and contain either 5 or 7 cakes.
Though Hani rarely consume Ripe or heavily oxidized teas themselves, the ‘market’ for them has grown particularly in the west where the mild ‘dark’ versions of Puerh have become more well known. Hani and indeed almost all of the minorities prefer and know their teas as green and ‘raw’. Optimal time for oxidizing or ageing for many is around 12-18 months, as the locals prefer the raw slightly green tang. Much of the ‘aged’ tea phenomena is viewed as hype and is a concept largely brought in by outsiders. Though there is truth to the notion that teas “develop” over time many growers in southern Yunnan see the concept of ageing as something that can also take away the very green tangs and astringency so loved in the hills.
One of the many villages that have been transformed by tea deep in the Nannuo Mountains with the telltale orange soil.
Ageing teas ideally works best with those that have innate strength, carrying strong tones of the earth. This Nannuo has been ‘artificially’ ripened within a controlled room, a steadily maintained humidity level, and ‘flipping’ the leaves multiple times every day. Bacteria (natural and organic based) is added to further stimulate the process of oxidizing or fermenting, and the resultant tea is one that a darker, smoother version of its old self in a month or two.
Ripening can take place through this turbo-charged system or a tea can simply age on its own (a far superior method) over the course of years ageing and darkening. Though one of the many subjective aspects of anything palate oriented, Puerh’s are teas whose history and characteristics are inextricably linked to the idea of age.
A young bush from the very area where our Nannuo offering has been sourced from.
Whatever the age or origin of a tea what is eternally vital is that the source and the process are trusted. If you enjoy a particular of our Jalamteas’ offerings, we encourage you to try (if we indeed offer it) another version of it to see which is preferred. If you’re a big fan of a Bada Mountain ripe tea, for instance, you might enjoy (or not) giving the same Bada Mountain raw green version a try as well.
Nannuo tea forests contain both tea trees and the younger bushes which are the younger generations of the very ancients that rise above them.
Harvested from tea bushes from 1100-1200 metres this tea is a Sumer 2014 offering which has had plenty of time to mature and is definitely a tea for the present tense. Enjoy and happy – and interesting – sips!
- Jeff Fuchs
While we encourage each drinker to tinker with infusion times and amounts of tea used according to taste, the below is a good base from which to begin the JalamTeas Nannuo tea experience but do give some extra time to infuse if a stronger jolt is required.
Use fully boiled water, as the large leaf 'Camellia Sinensis Assamica' (Puerh) can handle the heat. Using more rather than less will in some cases bring the lighter Nannuo flavours into the mouth more quickly.
If this is your first tea cake, here is a step-by-step guide on how to break and prepare a tea cake.
We recommend not less than 6 grams per serving; ideally 8-10 grams. Locals in southern Yunnan will use as much as 12 grams and wring out more than a dozen infusions, keeping the infusion times relatively short.
When the tongue ceases to enjoy an infusion's strength, that is the time to begin anew with a fresh load of leaves.
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.