I have been drinking this tea for the last couple of days. I’m into the fourth or fifth steeping. Still a very dark color with a two minute steep. Flavors are earthy and warm. It feels like a stout if it were a beer. Very full flavor.
Lao Cha Tou Ripe Pu-erh Nuggets
These tasty little “cha tou” (茶头) are from a 2009 fermentation batch done by Langhe tea factory in Menghai. Cha Tou is a kind of tea nugget that forms naturally from the pressures of compression and heat that occurs during the fermentation process. Typically during fermentation process to make ripe pu-erh there is a pile of tea about 1 meter high. It is kept wet to allow the fermentation process 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 ball up and get stuck together. The best cha tou are ones that have not been over-fermented and are smaller in size. Being already more than 2 years old, it is creamy and smooth, already having lost most of its post-fermentation funk it’s tea liquor is a clear and deep red-wine color. It can easily be infused more than 25 times!!!
These tea nuggets are a larger type and range in size from 1 to 3 centimeters in diameter. These are the sweetest type I have ever encountered!
Fermentation time: 2009
Harvest Area: Menghai County