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17/11: On ripe Pu-erh tea, Part II

Why Pu-erh tea is so dominant? Once you start with a Pu-erh, all other teas are faded away.

It starts with the taste, then the properties of a Pu-erh for all its health benefits. We all love to own a pile of good green Pu-erh teas, firstly fresh, and aromatic like a green tea, and then witness its aging into something different every year. Ultimately it becomes ripe/cooked/fermented, we celebrate it with a cup of tea that looks like a fine wine, sweet and smooth.

There, you see the end result, we want a ripe/cooked/fermented tea as the holy grail.

In term of a green Pu-erh, there is not much technology involved, but to make a good ripe Pu-erh, you got to know a lots of stuff.

I had been in a number of fermentation factories, mostly concentrated in Menghai area, you would smell pondy, fishy and dirt the moment you enter the factories. I had also gone to a workshop in Kunming that made a fermented Pu-erh on a micro scale.

First, of course, you have to select what's the best raw material for your ripe Pu-erh. All cheap stuff only produces what you know: cheap stuff. The good raw material is no guarantee for a good ripe Pu-erh tea though.

The second, you have to pick a good environment, temperature, water, and etc. Menghai seems to take a lion's share in this regard.

The third, you have to have a fermentation master on staff, who would make the production success or fail.

For all factors under consideration, you have to appreciate that a success is only because of god's blessing.

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