Many properties within raw or ‘Sheng’ Puerh promote a kind of purging of the body and promote a stimulation of the digestive system, aiding with those consuming high fat or protein diets.
‘Nup Gong La’ or ‘Western Pass’ refers to a 5400 metre pass along the Tea Horse Road along a stretch in Tibet. To pass unscathed over the snow pass was considered auspicious and something of an honour, as the region and its summits took a toll on caravans and traders alike.
The raw materials within the Nup Gong La cake come from the ever-consistent Bada Mountain region of southern Yunnan from trees of about 100 years old resting between 1400-1600 metres.
Though Puerh isn’t a tea exclusively for pressing or compressing, it is almost always exported this way. Compressed into shapes, it will ‘age’ differently than a loose leaf tea will.
The Bada region is a kind of informal sanctuary with its layers of ancient tea trees and bushes. Bada teas, and particularly older tree/bush offerings carry soft power and heavy hits of ‘qi’ partly because of the condition of the soil and humidity and partly because of the traditional ‘soft touch’ used when producing the teas. Aggressive higher heat pan fries with speed up the production times but will take some of the inherent and natural strength from an already inundated raw material.
Tea ‘Masters’ are rare. It isn’t enough to simply sit and serve tea. It is about weaving in conversation, knowledge and a precise knowledge of the qualities (and origin) of the tea one serves. This gentleman was a selfless and consistent server of beautiful teas for an afternoon in southwestern Yunnan.
The soft part of the tea is the rounded notes that are deep, where the power part of the tea comes from its energy and sustained power as it opens up over successive infusions.
This older offering of trees will be smoother than younger bush materials, with less astringency. The harvest season for our Nup Gong La was Autumn of last year. The local Hani harvest and produce the tea, while the cakes themselves are pressed by Dai people just outside of Menghai.
An old repurposed millstone, carved into a brilliant tea table.
Throughout the Hani and Dai regions of southern Yunnan, wasp larvae are collected and consumed to aid in building the immune system up.
Our Nup Gong La is notable for its herbaceous and mineral elements that come out over successive infusions. Bada has always benefited from its settled soils, isolation, and great drainage. Far from sprays, and human activity, the region is one of those still-ideal zones of tea cultivation that really hasn’t changed much.
It is often forgotten that tea for centuries had to manage to be hauled across the top of the world along the Tea Horse Road through the Himalayan snow passes, such as this portion in Eastern Tibet.
We hope this ‘Western Pass’ Sheng offering is enjoyed. We encourage you try this tea first thing in the morning before any food or brushing of teeth, to get a good clean feel for the leaves.
Play and tinker with infusion times with this Nup Gong La 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.
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 Nup Gong La 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.