2018 Yunnan Sourcing "Autumn Ai Lao Secret Garden" Old Arbor Raw Pu-erh Tea

A Pu-erh Tea from


82 / 100

Calculated from 2 Ratings
Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Pu Erh Tea Leaves
Bitter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Drying, Earth, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Mushrooms, Orchid, Peppercorn, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vegetables, White Grapes, Fruity
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Typical Preparation
Use 3 oz / 80 ml of water
Set water temperature to 200 °F / 93 °C
Use 6 g of tea
Steep for 0 min, 15 sec
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2 Tasting Notes View all

“This is an awesome tea and is likely one of the best autumn Simao shengs you can come across. The only slight drawback is that I would prefer a more pungent bitterness in a young tea, but I am...” Read full tasting note
“I ordered a 25 gram sample of this 2018 raw. When I opened the foil bag, I found a nice unbroken outside edge of a beeng. When I smelled the dry piece of cake, I would have sworn I was smelling a...” Read full tasting note


Entirely Autumn 2018 material from high altitude Ai Lao mountain. The Ai Lao mountains peak out at about 3200 meters, making them second only to Wu Liang Shan as the highest mountains in Simao prefecture. The Ai Lao mountain range is in the county of Jingdong which borders Chu Xiong prefecture. This tea comes from old arbor tea trees growing in an undisclosed location (Secret Garden) in the Ai Lao mountain area at 2100 meters, making this some of the highest altitude pu-erh in existence. Due to the high altitude most of the tea trees in this area are a naturally occurring hybrid of large and small leaf (sinensis and var. assamica). The trees are healthy old trees growing naturally just below the peak of one of Ai Lao’s many mountains. Ai Lao tea gardens are arguably some of the remotest tea gardens in all of Yunnan. Lack of roads and access has kept the environment of this area in pristine condition.

The tea itself is aromatic with hints of orchid aroma (兰香), and a strong mouth-feel. The leaves are fatter and more burly than the Wu Liang tea. It features lots of hairy buds that make it somewhat resemble its close neighbor Jinggu mountain teas. Honey and grass essences are present in this thick soupy tea! Very sweet and full bodied tea that remains flavorful and complex for 10+ steeps. “Secret Garden” is the most premium Ai Lao area tea that we have ever had the privilege to enjoy (or offer for sale)!

This tea was compressed in a small tea factory near Kunming where stone presses were used. Low temperature “baking” was used to dry these cakes after the compression process thus preserving their integrity! The cakes are wrapped and then bundled into bamboo leaf “tongs” with seven cakes per tong.

400 grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

30kg in total produced

Wrapper Design by Lukasz Mikolajczyk

This tea has been tested in a certified laboratory for 191 pesticides, and is within the EU MRL limits set for those 191 pesticide residues.

About Yunnan Sourcing

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