As tea lovers who follow this blog would know... to be chosen for the Mandarin's Tea Selection, a tea must go through a long, intense and very discriminating process. Only by learning and understanding the foundation (tree, place, process, storage and history), and the character changes of a tea, I can teach more people about how to brew, what to look for, and how to appreciate the unique personality of it. Thus the only way to achieve The Mandarin's Standard.
I don't usually acquire Shu puerh, except the 1980's original Menghai White Lotus Golden Needle. This time coming back from China had resulted in a couple of surprise samples which were intriguing.
The story behind this Shu bing is from a 70 years old puerh factory 鸿泰昌. Founded in Yibang, Xishuangbanna in the 30's as a puerh exporting company (producing border tea), They soon established a strong foundation in Thailand, then branching into Hong Kong and Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Eventually became the first puerh tea industrial giant. This bing was produced in 2000 and aged in Yunnan until releasing this year. We are still in the process of tasting and testing it at the moment, but if anyone is interested, we are more than happy to share part of the cupping process at our tea room.
Another interesting find was from my Puerh tea master in Yiwu mountain who had already produced 3 of my commissioned sheung bings.
This was a 2010 sheung puerh, pressed in this fall using Yiwu mountain old trees, to commemorate the 100 years drought. The harsh condition created a very intense sweetness in the maocha. I am not a fan of gimmicky sales, but as a wine enthusiast, that's something a wine collector will jump right in. Most of the best red wine vintages from all over the world are from drought or harsh growing conditions... so will this translate to the puerh harvest? We'll see in a couple of months if this will be on my product list.