Spring 2017 "Slumbering Dragon" Sheng / Raw Puerh from Crimson Lotus Tea
This is a rare puerh. Of all the tea we sell this is the hardest to source and the hardest to pick. There is a village in Kunlu Shan that isn't even on Google maps. Once you're there you need to hike another 3 kilometers into the mountains to get to these trees. The hike is often steep. You gain 500 meters and it takes more than 3 hours to get there. No one there knows how long the trees have been there or anything about their history. When you ask locals the age they simply reply that they are as old as the earth itself.
On the north slope of a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by dense forest, these trees reach to the sky. The trees at 20-40 feet tall literally scrape the ceiling of the forest. Impressive does not begin to describe these ancient beings. The Chinese call these trees '高杆'/gāogān which means "Tall Pole".
These skinny trees often grow in a trio and remain branchless until near the top. Barefoot, only the young and the brave, carefully climb to the top to pick the Spring harvest. There are no ropes, harnesses, or soft landings. It is dangerous work. In an attempt to conserve their strength for the ages these trees each produce precious few buds and new spring growth. A day's harvest for a young eager picker often maxes out around just 2kg of fresh leaf. After roasting and sun drying perhaps half a kilo is all they have to show for the days work.
There is not that much material available each year from these trees. We get as much as we can. We pressed less than 100 cakes this year. This is a very unique puerh. The flavor is strong, pure, natural, and quite bitter, but with a transcendent chaqi. There is an aroma in the dry leaves that is reminiscent of wild blueberries.
We had a new family process this material for us this year and it is better than it has ever been. It is fantastic this year!
We named this puerh "Slumbering Dragon" because of the visual image of these ancient trees growing so peacefully in the mountains. They seem to us like dragons of a previous era in a deep slumber for eons. The strong energy in this tea mirrors the strength of dragons in our active imaginations.
We present this tea as is. This is unblended, single origin, high altitude, wild tree puerh. It will not taste like a lot of the puerh out there. It is strong and intense with a very pronounced bitterness that can linger. The intensity of bitterness will fade with age. Our 2014 has mellowed quite nicely. The energy in this tea is quite strong, it will sneak up on you. We hope you get a chance to try this amazing and unique tea.
- Prefecture: Pu'er
- Elevation: 2000+m
- Wood Fired
- Hand Rolled
- Direct Sun Dried
Each tong is bamboo wrapped by hand and contains five 200g cakes.
Use 5-10 grams of leaves and brew with 75-150ml ( 2.5-5oz ) of water at or near boiling. Rinse once for a few seconds. Start with quick steeps under 10s. With each re-steep adjust the steep time to your taste. This tea is generous and can be re-steeped many times. Experiment with brew times and ratios to find what suits your palate.
Watch video from Kunlu Shan here: