Pu’erhs are wildly popular today and for good reason. They have incredible shelf lives when stored properly, they taste even better as they age, and the flavors are complex enough to satisfy even the stuffiest of wine connoisseurs. In the spirit of celebrating this amazing tea, we’re going to present in no particular order some of our current favorites in our collection.
- 2007 Mengku Sweet Breeze Shu Pu’erh – Sweet breeze is a tea that lives up to its name. If you’re new to pu’erh teas, make no mistake, this tea has the characteristics of a raw pu’erh. It’s dark and hearty, possessing the body of a cola (without the fizz of course). What makes it special, however, is its wild flavor profile. Though it boasts savory notes of chopped, wet cherry wood and baked red beets — perfect for Thanksgiving dinner — it derives its name from the delightful hints of roasted peaches that gently complement each sip. Better still, this tea is certified organic in China.
- 2015 Xiang Zhu Qing Sheng Pu’erh – Strictly for the connoisseurs! Hailing from Feng Qing, home to a bountiful selection of majestic pu’erh trees ranging in age from 500 to 1,000 years, this ripe pu’erh is at the opposite end of the spectrum from our Sweet Breeze, and it is easily one of our favorites. It is bright, crisp, and refreshing with a body and liquor reminiscent of apple juice. Perhaps the best way to explain the flavor is this: imagine freshly cut cantaloupe, drizzled with spring honey and finished with clover toppings. It doesn’t get much better than this.
- 2015 Tai Hua Gushu Sheng Pu’erh – Another ripe pu’erh tea from Feng Qing, this gem was actually mentioned in “The Travel Diaries of Xu Xiake,” written in the 17th In his records, Xu Xiake discusses his stay in Gao Jian Chao village where he was able to taste this pleasant pu’erh. This particular harvest greets the palate with a taste reminiscent of agave and strawberry, the sweetness from each lingering long after the last sip.
- 2015 Da Hu Sai Sheng Pu’erh – This ripe pu’erh is quite the bargain. For those who desire that mouth-watering hui gan experience, this is the tea for you! Grown in Mengku, this tea comes from Da Hu Sai village, which is located in Bang Ma Big Snow mountain ridge, featuring peak elevations of 2,000 meters (~6500 feet)! The village has been producing some top-quality pu’erh for a long time, but only recently has it been getting attention outside of the area. Though a sheng pu’erh, the taste is quite interesting. It has some of the sweetness one expects from a sheng with a papaya note in the aftertaste, but the overall profile is more along the lines of bamboo shoots and fresh pine.
- 2017 MeiMei Ba Nuo Rattan Sheng Pu’erh – One of our very own pu’erhs, this tea comes from Mengku as well in an area just outside of the eastern mountainside of Bing Dao known as Ba Nuo Da Zhai village. Sometimes known as Teng Tiao tea, what is unique about this pu’erh is that tea leaves are harvested in such a way that the tea trees grow fewer branches but much thicker leaves. These kinds of leaves impart a very robust quality to this tea, and it shows in the creamy character of the liquor. It primarily tastes of orchid with a light, sweet honey aftertaste and a hint of soybean. We fully expect this tea to grow in its sweetness with proper storage and time.
With so many unique, regional characteristics and diverse flavors, it’s no wonder that pu’erh has caught the attention of passionate tea lovers everywhere. We hope the above recommendations help you figure out which one might be right for you!