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While pu-erh teas and white teas are by themselves quite ancient, (white pu-erh alone dates to the Qing Dynasty around 1796) white pu-erh is not. In fact, this notable new arrival to the tea party was first manufactured around 2001. Initially, China's tea connoisseurs viewed its creation with skepticism and trepidation - until they tasted it. Once the playfully delicate infusion of the finely fermented silver buds began to tempt China's tea drinking populace, skepticism vanished and the tea began to fly from shelves. In fact, during the past half dozen years or so, collecting white pu-erh has become a popular pastime with the country's newly emerging middle class. Today, as white pu-erh, including this Xantou Mandarin White Pu-erh, steadily makes it way westward, it is finding converts everywhere it turns up. White pu-erhs typically greet the pallet with warm notes of vanilla, early spring grass and the subtle character of a lightly roasted mountain oolong.
Besides the obvious fact that the tea is packed in an orange, the care of craftsmanship used to get it in there cannot be underestimated. From the careful plucking of centuries old tea bushes, to the rolling on wide wicker baskets to the natural wood fires used to flash heat the mandarin orange peel, everything is done entirely by hand. (Note: firing the orange peel serves to kill any microorganisms that may be present.) The cup it produces is outstanding. A light yellow liquor resembling chamomile tea leads to a medium body with a gentle astringent assertiveness, sweet notes of citrus, honey and vanilla and a surprisingly clean finish. One of the China's most interesting and uniquely rare teas makes an excellent pu-erh for the first time drinker.
Ingredients: White tea (Pu'erh style), mandarin pieces.
Country of Origin: China - Yunnan Province - Artisan Handcrafted Pu-erh OP (Orange Pekoe)
Serving Size: 1-2 level tsp / 6 oz
Steep Time: 3-5 minutes
Steep Temp: 203-212 F
Size Options: 1 Pod; 4 Pods