Shu Enso Maiden
Origin: Organic, fair trade pu-erh tea from Mannong and Manmai Villages, Yunnan, China.
Flavor Profile: This tea is dark, dark, dark with vigorous notes of molasses, peat moss, lots of dark soil and cedar. The aroma is that of a wet old growth forest – earthy, sweet and filled with felled hardwoods and wild mushrooms.A medium body and thick, consommé-like mouth-feel leave behind a steadfast aftertaste of sweet, rich earth, sawdust and cedar.
Tea Story: Shu Enso Maiden is our first cake-style pu-erh.
Hand-plucked leaves from ancient tea trees are compressed with a custom press that we created by combining a modern steam-powered press with an antique stone press. The result is a miniature cake of about five inches in diameter, composed of small blue-black and toffee-brown leaves, and only touched by human hands, stone, paper and bamboo.
The dry cake is wrapped in handmade paper, and has the scent of musk, sawdust and cedar antiques. It brews to the color of dark coffee and (not coincidentally) makes an exceptional replacement for morning Joe.
Samovarian Poetry: Dark as the night. Purifying as the dawn. Deep and enduring.
Food Pairings: Pu-erh is reputed to be a hangover remedy and a cholesterol-lowering finish to a salty, greasy meal; we love it with Sunday brunch and after a heavy dinner.
Pair with morning-after brunch foods like sun-dried tomato quiche, diner-style sunny side up eggs with heavily buttered toast or buckwheat pancakes with organic fruit jam, or substantial entrees like duck breast with sour cherry compote, yellow or green vegetable curry or garlic-stewed-white-bean puree on toasted, crusty white bread.
On indulgent days, drink it after a meal of dim sum or pork rillette on sliced baguette.