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Smeared all over the outside of this cake are long, graceful, slender, twisted curls of the tea tree, each anointed with a beautiful haze of fine white fuzz. The rinse breathes an intense, browned-caramel toffee sensation from the leaves; surprising, but enjoyable. The first steeps are nothing but pure butter, with all that delectable light, fruity Yiwu essence coming in a silky, smooth vehicle. The soup a bright, even yellow, the tea hardly oxidizes as it sits in the cup.

As amazing the leaves, the aroma, and the flavor, oh, to live for that finish, that aftertaste, that graceful departure from the tongue. Cooling and minty above, lingering, herbal and dry below. Rounded, complex, soft, elegant, tight and easily remembered. Using only a scant five grams of large unbroken leaves in a 120 mL gaiwan, the overall bitterness is much reduced, but still pleasingly balanced. This kind of bingcha is exactly why I drink puerh.

Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=318

deftea

I’m beginning to think that terroir is the key to sheng. More than processing, which is pretty standard and minimal, no? I mean, I haven’t had a Yi Wu that wasn’t complex and demanding, yet never harsh. Woo hoo Yi Wu! (Sorry)

Shinobi_cha

According to this company/website, you are exactly right — terroir is much more important than processing: http://hojotea.com/article_e/puerh_e.htm

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I agree terroir is more important than processing, as long as people don’t mess up with processing, which is much easier than processing of many other teas. By the way the primary manufacturer is Guan Zi Zai, whose owner is related to owner of Yong Pin Hao, which has the “secondary authorship” on the product.

the_skua

Gingko, are you saying that puerh processing is easier than other teas, or easier to mess up?

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I mean processing of puerh is easier. In some cases when it’s messed up, it’s not because people don’t know what they are doing. Instead, they messed purposely for profitable reasons, such as very light hand rolling to make the leaves prettier and roasting with a machine under high temperature.

Shinobi_cha

I am definitely no expert, but it seems like terroir would be the main factor for any kind of tea in determining weather it is high quality or not. Certainly processing is important, but if the tea bushes are bad in the first place, it doesn’t matter how you process them, you still will have bad tea. Right?

the_skua

I think that’s the gist of it. Processing is certainly an artisanal process, but one that strives to not screw up the leaf, but to preserve its truest essence in whatever form is desired, as best as possible.

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deftea

I’m beginning to think that terroir is the key to sheng. More than processing, which is pretty standard and minimal, no? I mean, I haven’t had a Yi Wu that wasn’t complex and demanding, yet never harsh. Woo hoo Yi Wu! (Sorry)

Shinobi_cha

According to this company/website, you are exactly right — terroir is much more important than processing: http://hojotea.com/article_e/puerh_e.htm

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I agree terroir is more important than processing, as long as people don’t mess up with processing, which is much easier than processing of many other teas. By the way the primary manufacturer is Guan Zi Zai, whose owner is related to owner of Yong Pin Hao, which has the “secondary authorship” on the product.

the_skua

Gingko, are you saying that puerh processing is easier than other teas, or easier to mess up?

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I mean processing of puerh is easier. In some cases when it’s messed up, it’s not because people don’t know what they are doing. Instead, they messed purposely for profitable reasons, such as very light hand rolling to make the leaves prettier and roasting with a machine under high temperature.

Shinobi_cha

I am definitely no expert, but it seems like terroir would be the main factor for any kind of tea in determining weather it is high quality or not. Certainly processing is important, but if the tea bushes are bad in the first place, it doesn’t matter how you process them, you still will have bad tea. Right?

the_skua

I think that’s the gist of it. Processing is certainly an artisanal process, but one that strives to not screw up the leaf, but to preserve its truest essence in whatever form is desired, as best as possible.

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Bio

Exploring the world of fine Chinese and Japanese teas, my favorites include: sheng pu’er, moderately roasted oolongs, gyokuro, shincha, and high quality, artisanal whites and greens. I don’t subscribe to any particular style of brewing, but incorporate elements from traditional techniques to brew the best tea possible. I also seek to share the joy that tea brings me with others, but am really rather introverted.

Location

Peace Dale, Rhode Island

Website

http://tea.theskua.com

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