The ‘Circular’ or ‘Round’ Puerh
Easy to consume late or after a meal to soothe without the blast of caffeine as the levels of stimulant are much diminished.
We’ve named this our Quān (圈) or ‘circular’ Shou because of the term sometimes used in Mandarin, to describe a tea that is soft but has a flavourful impact in the mouth without having an astringent effect.
Puerh was long considered the ‘compressed tea’ by many within China.
Harvested from bushes that are around 50 years old close to the village of Meng Ngoi on Bulang Mountain, this is an offering that is very much in the ‘mild’ category in its approach to the palate. We prefer this more mild tonic approach to Shou Puerhs rather than the heavy earthy flavoured Shou’s simply because they reflect more accurately their raw materials rather than their storage methods or conditions.
Tea trees near Meng Ngoi on Bulang Mountain bask in mists and an ideal climate zone.
Bulang Mountain is a confluence of great soils, drainage, humidity and forest-canopied shade. Villages, valleys, ridgelines, and the makers of tea all contribute their own signature marks upon the leaves. Meng Ngoi and its higher sister village of Manmai both have long been hubs for great raw materials and tea that can be consumed young. Bulang teas carry some inherent strength in them and can generally age and develop in brief periods compared to teas from Jing Mai or Yiwu. The local Hani, Lahu, Wa, Bulang, and Dai all contribute to the local tea industry, though larger companies are coming into the region to lease forests or fields for the longer term to able to lay claim to the various mountains’ and village monikers. This isn’t always a negative as many come to the region because they know that the conditions are prime but it does put pressure on smaller village productions of tea.
The idea of ‘perfect leaves’ for locals is often one that involves seeing the odd bug and colouring on a leaf and not worrying so much about a clean leaf…clean leaves are the ones most often sprayed.
Pile fermentation is the process which ‘creates’ the Shou tea, with a combination of enforced humidity, additions of bacteria and/or agents to encourage in both flavouring the leaves and giving an impression of age.
Compressed Puerh sit in brick shapes waiting to be released into the world. Within their compressed shapes, Puerh leaves ‘age’ slightly differently (and many say ‘better’) than in their loose leaf format.
Though we at JalamTeas prefer to engage and promote the raw unadulterated ‘Sheng’ Puerhs, we’ll continue to offer up the Shou Puerhs that impress.
Enjoy our ‘Round’ Bulang offering.
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 Quān (圈) Shou experience.
Do not be afraid to make a stronger brew than you might be accustomed to. The tea can use some extra leaves or time to strengthen the infusion but we do recommend that with all Shou Puerhs, a first rinse infusion is cast aside and not consumed. This is a great neutral tea and can easily handle flexible infusion times. Shou teas should be ‘cleaned’ with that first infusion because of the additional process of pile fermentation which can often leave a residue on the leaves. Use fully boiled water.
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 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. Try different amounts or slightly longer infusion times if you find the flavors to be too mild.
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.