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As we’ve said before, Pu-erh tea is generational by its very nature. For hundreds of years, workers in the mountains of Yunnan have put their skill to good use by picking the best possible tea leaves from the ancient trees that grow there. Even those who originally tended to and cultivated the trees so long ago still have a direct effect on us, as we sip the tea that exists because of their work.
With this Variety Set, we wanted to focus on the way that tea can be passed between generations. An aged tea cake may be part of the inheritance a parent passes onto their child, just as a son or daughter might give tea to their parents as a token of their appreciation. To properly acknowledge the full scope of tea, you have to enjoy both the old and the new, and so this Variety Set is intended to help you do just that.
To represent the older generation, the first tea in our collection is the Millennium Feng Fragrance. Named from the famous Feng Qing county from which it originates, this tea has a comforting aroma that’s reminiscent of the ancient trees that the tea is picked from. Made at the turn of the millennium, this tea has already taken on a precious vintage quality, and is expected to appreciate greatly in the coming years.
In many ways our Millennium Distant Mountains Ripe Pu-erh Tea is like a cousin to the Millennium Feng Fragrance. Picked around the same time, these two remarkable teas have grown up side by side, with enough in common to make them family, but enough distinctions to give them each a completely unique personality. Picked in the mountains of Xishuangbanna, the Millennium Distant Mountains is very much a classic aged Ripe Pu-erh. Its earthy notes and maroon hues bring with them a sense of comfortable familiarity. At the same time, as its name suggests, this tea will whisk you away to far off, beautiful places, and make you feel at one with mountains that are the source of the tea.
What is now vintage was once brand new, and so we in the world of Pu-erh must always be looking toward the future, and seeking to determine which of our young teas might someday be a classic in their own right. This concept is well exemplified by our innovative 2016 Ripe Mini Tuo Cha. To begin with, the very shape and size of these teas is noteworthy. Ripe tea is pressed into these 5 gram tuo cha, that are already the perfect size for brewing tea. All you have to do is pop one of these into your choice of teaware, then add boiling water. In addition, the source material of this tea is truly exceptional, and will only get better and better as the years go on. Made from the same tea leaves as our 2016 Commemorative Ripe, this tea has been turning heads all over the world with it’s flavor, a sweet medicinal taste that is typically only found in Ripe teas that have been aging for many years.
Finally, also representing the current generation is our unbelievably rich 2016 Black Tea. Made from the same large leaves on ancient trees that we use to make our Pu-erh tea, this tea has been shocking and delighting those who have tried it ever since it was made. With just a few grams, you can brew more than ten steeps of this tea, and its floral, chocolatey smell will fill up the room, making for a wonderfully enriching brewing session.
Brewing Your Tea
Ripe Pu-erh tea should be steeped near boiling point—this is referred to as “turbulent waters.” To brew, remove 3-4 grams of leaves from the cake for every 6 ounces of water. Rinse the tea for about 5 seconds, before pouring it over your tea set to warm the teaware. For aged ripe tea, consider rinsing the tea for a few second longer.
After you’ve primed the tea with your first steep and washed your teaware, you can steep the tea for 5 seconds and enjoy. For each subsequent brew, add another 5-10 seconds of steeping time. Your steeping time will vary based on your flavor preferences, the temperature of the water, and the amount of tea, but it’s not unusual for ripe Pu-erh to last for 10 to 20 infusions.
This Variety Set includes 7 grams of 2016 Black Tea, Millennium Distant Mountains, and Millennium Feng Fragrance, and two 5 gram mini tuo cha.