The Story of this Sheng Pu Erh
2020 Ku Zhu Shan Danzhu Sheng Pu Erh is here in our shop. Unlike in the past, I didn’t taste the sample of this Pu Erh tea. In fact, I pre-ordered this tea before it was even harvested, because if I acted a little bit too late, this tea would have been sold out. Based on my last 2 years experience with this Ku Zhu Shan Dan Zhu, I didn’t hesitate at all to buy the same tea from the same garden and mostly likely the same ancient trees for tea-heads here. After 2 weeks of its arrival in my shop, I tasted the Pu Erh with my tea friend Halyn. More than lucky, we were both fascinated by this year’s tea, and in fact, we found that, either because the tea was pressed into cake, or because of the drought in Yunnan, this year’s Danzhu is a lot sweeter and a lot smoother than last year’s tea. The smoothness can be the result that it was made into cakes, because the process of the steaming and pressing the loose tea into cakes takes out the greenness and astringency of a new tea and speeds up the aging process.
The extreme sweetness can be the result of steaming and pressing too, and also because of the drought, because the Pu Erh tea trees don’t grow as fast due to the lack of water and the grow less leaves. In the end, the slow growing process with less energy sharing enables the leaves to accumulate more nutrients. But of course, the same trees produce tea of different qualities every year because of many other reasons too.
Dan Zhu means single tree. The leaves you will receive are all from one single tree. Leaves from one tree is made into one batch, they don’t mix with leaves from other single trees. Trees for producing a Danzhu tea must be old enough and big enough to produce enough leaves. This means Danzhu tea must be from ancient tea trees, not young ones. This tea was harvested in 05.04.2020 in the mountain called Ku Zhu Shan in Jinggu Town, from tea trees about 300 years old. The trees are found 2200 metres above sea level in the mountain.
Taste and Aroma
This year’s Ku Zhu Shan Danzhu in general has a familiar floweriness and sweetness to me. After all, the tea is from the same trees as in the past years. What makes it different is its smoothness as mentioned in the story and its extreme sweetness which is there the moment you swallow the tea and lasts for the next 1 hour after drinking the tea. Believe me, it’s very sweet!!!
What’s more, I noticed, the first 2 seconds when the liquid arrives in your mouth, it has a subtle buttery saltiness on the middle top of your tongue. The saltiness is gone when you swallow, but I think this tiny creamy saltiness in the beginning is one of the reasons that the tea tastes extremely sweet afterwards.
This Ku Zhu Shan Dan Zhu has almost no bitterness, and the astringency is very subtly there in the second and third infusions, absent in the first and later infusions.