This limited-edition unblended mountain tea comes from Jing Mai in the Xishuangbanna Manghai region of Southern Yunnan. The tea comes from the larger leaved Camellia sinensis ’Assamica’. and are collected and then stored in large piles. Whilst fermenting, these leaves are covered, keeping them moist with occasional turning. They can be covered for up to 60 days. This method of production is referred to as Shou. Shou tea is different from the raw Pu-Erh called Sheng Pu-Erh. Sheng Pu-Erh undergoes a much slower fermentation process with some Sheng Pu-Erh claiming to be decades old. This Shou cake is from the 2015 harvest and has a soft, mild, earthy flavour. Pu-Erh tea is said to have myriad health benefits amongst them reducing bad cholesterol and lowering triglycerides. The aging of Pu-Erh tea can result in the production of lovastatin, a natural statin, statins lower bad cholesterol and thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Preparation of the tea involves breaking off a decent sized portion of the brick for use, a Pu Erh knife exists for just such a job and is similar to an oyster knife but a rigid letter opener or similar will do just as well, this minimises damage to the leaves. Then treat these dried leaves as you would normally.