As a big sheng pu’er enthusiast, this topic is highly important to me. I was searching for such quality since I realised how important is the raw material component in this type of tea. There are thousands of pu’er teas on the market, and yet we do not know much about them. Where did it come from, what was the quality of the tea leaves, and how was it stored? These three aspects are most important when we speak about sheng pu’er. There is a lot of essential information about this type of tea, but the truth is that without your own tasting experience, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, I’m very proud to present to you a high-quality sheng pu’er, which is made from the tea leaves plucked from ancient trees, around 350-500 years old. Traditionally processed, stone-pressed and sun-dried. For those, who already know what they are searching for, this tea is a great find. But for those who are only starting their pu’er journey - it is the best way to dive into this endless world.
Mao Cha translates as a "rough tea" and means that this tea is unfinished and is in an intermediate stage of production. This term is used for a tea material which is ready to be steamed and pressed in case of Sheng Pu'Er production. This type of tea is used for blending and further storage before being pressed. It is considered that Mao Cha ages differently and faster what makes this type of tea more valuable.
First of all, look at this shiny, glossy beautiful tea material. Combination of one bud and two leaves. The very fragrant dry tea leaves have a sweet and even sugary aroma. This tea comes from a special area, which determines the original aroma and the unique taste of this tea. Usually, young shengs have very rough and grassy notes, while this tea will surprise you with its sweetness. After you put it in a warmed-up teapot, the aroma will transform, and you will notice some dried fruits and vegetable motifs.
I usually use cooled-down water to rinse tea leaves very fast. After that, by tradition, I check the aroma of washed tea leaves. It is not necessary with shengs to follow all steps of the Gong Fu Cha method, but it is a crazy good sheng not to do that. Anyway, this tea acts unusually during the brewing process, and the taste reveals another scenario. If plantation tea gives us 5-7 perfect tasty infusions, pu’er tea opens up during the first 5 infusions, therefore, it’s worth brewing it even more times.
This Ming Feng Mao Cha has a very sweet deep taste with notes of dried fruits and meadow flowers. The silky texture and long-lasting aftertaste provide a light “hui gan” (sensation of sweetness that follows an initial bitterness) effect at the back of the throat. Every new infusion brings new notes and associations, and the taste slowly keeps transforming, which creates a smooth composition in your tea ceremony. The light amber colour of the infusion is untypically darker than most young sheng pu’ers you will find in the market.