2009 Meng Song "Dai Tribe" Bamboo Raw Pu-erh

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
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Caffeine
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Edit tea info Last updated by deftea
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “There is something so pure about raw puerh, the least processed tea of all, simply sun dried and compressed, not even pan fried like longjing, but allowed to remain “alive” with tiny microbes that...” Read full tasting note
    90
    deftea 24 tasting notes
  • “I tried this Puerh out of curiosity. I have to admit is a NOT an every day tea for me, in fact I rarely drink it. But I love it, It has a pungent taste and very floral/perfume like smell. It has a...” Read full tasting note
    77
    jcov 153 tasting notes

From Yunnan Sourcing

This “Dai Tribe” produced bamboo pu-erh is a special and rare tea produced in the traditional manner. First flush of spring Meng Song mountain tea is gradually steam softened and tamped down into bamboo sections in fire pits. The aromatic bamboo comes from just a few areas in Menghai area and must be harvested in August. Small fire pits are dug in the village ground and are stoked with bamboo charcoal. The bamboo sections are placed closed end down into the fire pits, as the bamboo heats up the aromatic water vapor in the bamboo sections is relesaed as steam. The sun-dried mao cha is gradually pushed into the hot steaming section of bamboo, and tamped down as it becomes softened by the steam. Once the bamboo sections are filled with tea the sections are allow to roast in the fire a while longer before being removed to a kind of oven room where they are allowed to dry for 2 or 3 days. The charred bamboo sections are then removed and will be processed into bamboo charcoal for further use.The tea itself is subtly aromatic with floral tones. The tea brews easily and isn’t too fussy. The tea liquor is golden yellow and transparent. With aging this tea will develop orchid aromas with a hint of sugarcane. No smokiness is present!

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2 Tasting Notes

90
24 tasting notes

There is something so pure about raw puerh, the least processed tea of all, simply sun dried and compressed, not even pan fried like longjing, but allowed to remain “alive” with tiny microbes that facilitate fermentation and constant change. What I love about the idea of raw bamboo puerh is the contradiction of that purity with the elaborate process of making charcoal, packing the bamboo sections, steaming them, cutting away the bamboo, etc. This is tea dialectics! Simply complex. Fire and water. Heaven and earth.

As I understand it, there are a couple of different ways to make bamboo puerh: One is to roll or knead the fresh tea leaves, directly fill the bamboo tube, and oven bake; the other is to first sun dry the leaves, then steam them on rice, and compress the leaves into the bamboo while baking over fire. I think this tea was processed the second way.

I have only ever had the Wuyi Mountain bamboo tea from Norbu, which is subtle and very mild. This Dai tea (the Dai are one of China’s ethnic minorities) is an interesting comparison. First the tea tubes are much larger — two and a half inches in diameter. And the tea is much more tightly compressed; it was difficult to break off a chunk and, consequently, I crushed some of the leaves. I rinsed the tea twice to open it up, which it did nicely. The first tastes were of the familiar purity of green puerh, predominantly vegetal, no camphor. In the next infusions, floral notes appear (mushroomy magnolia perhaps) against a definite smoky background (pace the YS description). What I’m calling smokiness is very subtle and quiet pleasant and recessive — different from up-front roasted; others may call it woody but it was smokey to me. It adds further complexity. The spent leaves are amazingly whole; the smell of the leaves in the pot is more flowery than other shengs I’ve had.

I think the Dai simply put this tea in a bowl with hot water rather than prepare it in a pot and transfer to cups. I will brew and drink directly from a gaiwan next time, to try to emulate the Dai. Tea dialectics put me in touch with people I don’t even know. I can travel with tea if I concentrate. I can become very old and also very young. Raw bamboo puerh is particular good and helping me do this.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec
teaddict

Sounds like a lovely tea. And I love the Norbu Yi Wu bamboo puerh so much this would be a very interesting counterpoint. Would you call it a fair bit stronger than the Yi Wu?

deftea

Yes, this is stronger. For me, both have a wonderful complexity. I would say I taste more sugarcane in the background of the Norbu, and more woodiness in the YS.

Javan

Thanks for your comments and information on this tea. I am having a 2003 version of this tea at the moment and I echo your enjoyment.

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77
153 tasting notes

I tried this Puerh out of curiosity. I have to admit is a NOT an every day tea for me, in fact I rarely drink it. But I love it, It has a pungent taste and very floral/perfume like smell. It has a smoky taste and the bamboo fragrance lingers in you mouth. I’m looking forward to try a ripe bamboo fragrance. (Multiple Steeps Gong Fu style… I could not handle a powerful 2 min steep).

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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