2008 Shou Tribute Pu-erh (Yiwu, China)

This is a tea to keep for special occasions, to age and to experience as the flavor transforms each year. Aged since 2008 in a cool, dry warehouse in Kunming, China, it is already rich, complex and smooth. 

Yiwu is arguably the most well regarded and important of the 6 ancient tea mountains of Pu-erh. It is home of the ancient Imperial tea gardens and teas from there are known for their smooth, elegant qualities; hence Yiwu is called the “Queen of Pu-erh”. Yiwu Pu-erhs are also known for aging well.

This one really stood out to us on a buying trip to Xishuangbanna last year. It is made entirely from the leaves and buds of ancient tea trees.

To prepare: Pick or break off 6-8 grams of tea from the bingcha (compressed tea cake) and put it in a Guywan. Cover the leaves with boiling water and quickly pour the water away. This is to rinse the tea and prepare the leaves for steeping. Then, pour almost boiling water over the leaves and steep for 3 minutes. Decant the water into a serving pitcher or cup. Resteeps 5 or more times.