Ripe Puerh Lao Cha Tou
Origin: Da Qing Village, Jinggu County of Simao (Yunnan)
Tasting Notes: Grass jelly, warm cedarwood, forest floor
Puerh tea is made from the large-leaf varietal Camellia Sinensis Assamica, and in order for it to truly classify as Puerh tea, it has to come from the Yunnan region of China. Puerh tea is typically pressed into round cakes, bricks or squares, and tuos but can also be found in loose-leaf form. Ripe Puerh (also known as Shou Puerh or Shu Pu) is fermented for a 40-50 day period and undergoes a mellowing process that changes the tea into something dark red-brown in color.
What makes Puerh special is that it is post-fermented tea, making it possess probiotics, and great as a liver cleanser and digestif.
Cha Tou are the Ripe Puerh tea nuggets that form naturally from the pressures of compression and heat that occur during the process of fermentation that makes Ripe Puerh what it is. During the fermentation process, there is a pile of tea about 1 meter high. It is kept wet to allow fermentation to take place and the pile is turned every few days to allow for an even degree of fermentation, moving the tea from the bottom of the pile (where it is hotter and wetter) to the top of the pile where it is cooler and drier. The "Cha Tou" are the leaves that tangle and get stuck together. The best Cha Tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and are smaller in size (like these). This tea liqueur you’ll get from this will stay light throughout but will yield different flavor notes with each infusion, as the centers of these clumps will have more fermentation. This tea should yield many infusions and is great as a digestif.