This is our very first Chinese farm and in particular Farmer Yang’s Ancient Tree Shu (Ripe) Pu’er – a rare Shu Pu’er that’s nuanced and delicate, while also carrying the energy of Ancient Tree leaves. Due to its minimal caffeine, probiotic gut bacteria, and relaxing old tree energy, it’s a great tea to wind down with in the evening after a long day.
This Pu’er comes from Farmer Yang’s Ancient tree garden composed of trees over 200 years old. What makes Shu Pu’er Ripe is the fact that it has had an accelerated fermented process which was developed in the 1970s. This technique mimics the fermentation that would occur if the tea were left to age through creating the ideal microclimate for the micro-organisms to propagate.
More often than not, farmers reserve their best Pu’er for aging as Sheng Pu’er knowing that the tea will fetch a much better price when properly aged, leading to many Farmers using their less valuable crop for their Shu. Thus many Shu on the market will push the fermentation to cover the quality of the tea, leading to overpowering fermentation notes.
We’re so grateful that Farmer Yang reserved some of his Ancient Tree leaves for fermenting into Shu Pu’er, as it leads to a high quality Shu Pu’er that has the energy elements found in aged Ancient Tree Pu’ers. Older tree Pu’er are most desired for their tangible energy and warmth, so many Shu Pu’er using younger cheaper leaves will lack the calming energies (or qi) of properly aged quality Sheng Pu’er. Similar to wineyards and olive gardens, the age of the garden has a large impact on the micronutrients in the soil, leading to a stronger and more complex chemical cocktail. There are records of tea gardens in Jingmai going back 1200 years, which is one theory as to why this region produces such coveted teas.
Our Ancient Tree Shu tastes of the morning forest, slightly piney with an almost almond milk-like fog, without the over-fermentation earthy soil notes that other Shu Pu’ers have. In China Shu Pu’er is often drank after dinner as the caffeine is fermented away, and the fermentation yields healthy probiotic gut bacteria to aid digestion. On top of that the Gushu (old tree) mental and body feel is quite present, which is the main reason we drink this tea – this tea is incredibly relaxing in mind and in muscle.