WHY PU’ER ACADEMY?
The impetus for creating this event was spurned by the vast collection of Pu’er tea myself and many of my close tea enthusiasts are amassing, through subscription services. This, along with the buying additional pu’er based upon recommendation from knowledgeable enthusiasts.
Pu’er, like most tea cultivars, have a very wide range of types based on age, production and style and hails from the Yunnan region of China.
To study Pu’er would take a lifetime. So where to begin?
We started with the basics by type, Shu and Sheng.
“Shu Pu’er-ripe-aged” this tea goes through a piling process where leaves are piled and allowed to ferment. The tea has a very “earthy smell” and a mild, though bold flavor.
“Sheng-green-raw-uncooked Pu’er” This tea is processed without piling and will have a “fresh smell” bitter but sweet aftertaste .
At a recent presentation at World Tea Expo, Linda Louie gave us a simple way to remember the difference, notice the e in both Sheng and green which is the raw pu’er and Shu is ripe or aged.
THIS DAYS’ JOURNEY.
Along with these we served sweets created by Lisa Chan, Tiny PineCone and fruit, cheese and crackers.
Of course one cannot hope to learn in one session all there is to know about any tea cultivar, so to begin the exploration we started with some basics.
We tasted both a Sheng and Shu from the same region. Bada Mountain. Jalam Teas graciously provided these samples.
Our guest speakers, Evan Draper and Brandon Hale took the group through a PowerPoint presentation about the history, process and development of this tea.
After a brief question and answer period and a display showing of how pu’er can be found i.e. loose leaf, toucha, bings etc. we began the individual brewing. Our guest expert brewers, in addition to Evan and Brandon, were Nicole Martin; Tea For Me Please; Darlene Meyers-Perry, The Tea Enthusiast Scrapbook; Theresa Wong, T-Shop and Evans lovely wife who stepped in for me.
The brewers were provided with tea samples and information sheets about each tea and the focus was the difference between “new” and “aged” Pu’er. Each participant was provided a notebook to record his or her own personal thoughts about each tea.
One of our offering: a bing, Autumn 2014 from Misty Peaks Tea one of our esteemed sponsors, and the other an aged bing; CNNP, Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha.
Misty Peaks, Autumn Pu’er Tea. Fresh from the farm. Picked and processed in January 2014 by the family. All hand processed, artisan, chemical free, stone pressed, un-blended, 200+ year old trees. Picking to processing to pressing, all done by the family. Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Oak wood, Sweet
10 Year’s Old Yunan Puer’h Tea (Ping Cha)
Company: CNNP., Yunnan Branch
Pu erh Yunnan Chitsu Pingcha Also known as Yuancha. This cake has undergone optimum fermentation and high temperature steaming and pressing. The tea is a bright red-yellowish liquid with pure aroma and a fine taste with a characterized sweet after-taste all its own. A short steeping time, the liquor will be of medium density, smooth and will offer a pleasant nutty flavor.
I was amazed at the liveliness at each table, participants were genuinely interested and the interaction heightened with each infusion.
I was hesitant to interrupt though our next presenter, Darlene had very important information to convey, her subject; discussing books about Pu’er and how to obtain more information regarding this variety, through self-study.
We ended our tasting with an aged white tea from Fujian.
Attendees ready enjoyed this event and suggested we conduct another in the very near future.
The best part, besides conducting an event that provides quality tea education for those interested is the research I will be conducting prior to the next event.
My own enjoyment of the pu’ers that I have collected that may make it to the next tasting.
A sincere Thank You to my sponsors,
To my Speakers and “Expert” Brewers.
And to the Attendees.
If you would like to read more about this event see these posts
Also a good read, a unique contribution, on the topic of Pu’er from my fellow tea writer, Sir Devotea.
*Note, as I was so busy in coordinating this event I was unable to take photos. Many of the photos seen here are taken by attendees, Nicole Martin, Darlene Meyers-Perry, Theresa Wong, and Sara Shacket.