The (Pu Erh) tea tradition of Lincang, a region located in the west of the Chinese province of Yunnan, which in the south bordering the prefecture of “Pu Erh, is as old as that of Pu Erh itself if not older: Lincang, more exactly the village Jinxiu (Chinese: 锦绣) in Lincang’s Fengquin County, is home to a 3,200 years old tea tree that is considered to the world’s oldest cultivated tea tree. With an average altitude of 1450 meters above sea level, the area spans altitudes reaching from 450 to 3500 meters. The scenic topography, climate and geological features are very similar to those of the (practically) neighboring north Thailand.
Our 2012 Lincang First Grade Ripe Pu Erh Tea comes from the region of Mengku town, located south of the city of Lincang. The carefully selected and handpicked fresh and tender (golden) buds and uppermost leaves of the large-leaved tea variety native to Lincang were initially ripened to a medium degree of fermentation through the “pile fermentation” method by periodic repiling at controlled storage conditions. Then, the tea has been stored at optimal conditions at our supplier’s tea storage house for further ripening and has now lost nearly all of the typical pile fermentation aroma, which is generally considered as less desirable.
The high clear & transparent dark red tea liquor of First Grade Lincang Ripe Pu Erh Tea delights with a thick, very soft and smooth taste, characterized by the high sweetness of dried fruit such as figs, dates and plums, accompanied by a pleasant and light manifestation of the leather aroma that is typical for ripened Pu Erh teas.
Generally applies: the older a ripe Pu Erh tea, i.e. the longer it ripens, the better it gets. However, trying our 2012 First just Lincang Pu Erh tea, you will hardly believe there is really much left to wish for. This surprisingly inexpensive Pu Erh tea has emerged from our degustations of an extended range of ripened (shu) Pu Erh teas as our clear favorite by taste and has therefore been selected as the first representative of the Pu Erh Tea category in our line “Great Teas of China”.
More information about history and backgrounds of Pu Erh tea as well as an overview of the insights we have gained in our practical and theoretical exploration of the topic Pu Erh tea is provided by our pertaining article in Siam Tea Blog:
Pour 250 ml of 90° – 100°C hot water over 3-5 gram of First Grade Lincang Ripe Pu Erh tea and let infuse for 2 minutes. With gradual increase of the infusion period by about ½ minute each, this ripe Pu Erh tea produces a long range of delicious full taste infusions.
Optimally stored at a humidity of 50-75% and temperatures between 10°C and 35°C, First Grade Lincang Ripe Pu Erh Tea goes through a process of further fermentation / ripening that can result in changes to its taste, which are generally perceived as positive.