Sheng / Raw Puerh
Sheng puerh is a tea more than a thousand years old. The origins of this tea are shrouded in the mists of time. For a millennia this tea was trekked by mule and human thousands of miles from the hot, humid jungles of Yunnan, China to the emperor in Beijing and to the Tibetans living in the Himalayan highlands.
This is a post fermented tea whose active bacteria creates a fungal fermentation that ages with time. This is a tea that can be drunk today, or stored for your grandchildren to drink. A truly diverse range of flavors and aromas are possible with sheng puerh. When taking into account all variables such as growing region, tea tree varietal, tea tree age, terroir, individual skill in production, storage condition, and length of age it is hard to sum up in a single thought or idea what sheng puerh is.
Young sheng puerh is biologically very similar to modern green tea. It will present vegetal and fruity flavors and aromas. Often there are notes of wet hay or alfalfa. This is a tea that can present a face of bitterness and astringency that quickly escapes into a natural sweetness.
Aged sheng puerh is completely unique in the tea world. Time has had her way with this tea and it is better for it. This tea can give enhanced flavors and aromas. Often described as musty, like smelling an old book, this tea is a definite treat for the senses. It should be experienced first hand and is hard to narrow down a single profile given the wide range of possibilities.