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Xia Ke Ji Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2017
Complex & rich taste, rock sugar sweet
Complex & rich taste, rock sugar sweet
Fengqing County, Lincang City, Yunnan Province, China
May 28, 2017
One bud with one or two leaves
Well-compressed cake with tight and even strips, fat tea buds and leaves, and full of pekoes
Pekoe flavor, fruit and honey aroma
Bright pale yellow
The taste is rich, soft and full with obvious fruit and honey aroma,
and the sweet after taste lasts long
Fengqing large-leaf tea bush species (more than 200 years old)
Mengyou Tea Area
Moderate caffeine (less than 20% of a cup of coffee)
Store in cool, dry place away from sunlight; keep ventilated
The aged the better
The first few infusions have obvious fruit and honey aroma, the middle ones are full and rich, and the last ones are back to sweet taste, so the aroma and taste of whole infusions are excellent. The production time is short, but the transformation after storage will be surprising.
Xu Xiake was a Chinese travel author and geographer of the old Ming Dynasty. Once when he spent a night with a shopkeeper in Fengqing in 1693, he was offered a large-leaf local specialty pu-erh tea; Xu Xiake was so grateful that he made sure to note this courteous reception in his writings, spreading the customs of Fengqing and its special pu-erh tea in his travel diaries. In order to thank him for his love of Fengqing tea, this particular type of pu-erh was soon named after him as Xia Ke Ji Cha.
This raw pu-erh tea cake is made from a large-leaf and old-tree species from the Mengyou area, with the raw materials picked as one bud with one or two leaves; the fat tea buds are clearly and evenly distributed throughout the cake, along both the inside and outside. On brewing, the first three infusions are dominated by its characteristic sweet fragrance, while the fourth infusion establishes the tea’s rich texture and full flavor. Because this tea was recently harvested and produced in 2017, it maintains a slightly bitter note; however, this bitterness almost instantly disappears, replaced by a sweet flavor that lingers in the mouth and leaves a notable honey aroma in the cup.
All in all this is a good, stable tea, retaining bright yellow liquor even after ten infusions. As the flavor eventually fades, the rock-sugar sweetness remains in the water.
Chinese Gongfu Method
|Teacup: 12oz / 355ml
|Gaiwan: 3.8oz / 110ml
|203℉ / 95℃
|203℉ / 95℃
|Brewing time: 5 - 8 mins
|13 steeps: Rinse, 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 20s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 100s, 120s
|Rinse time is 5 seconds
There are fifteen towns in Fengqing that cultivated old tea trees: Xiang Zhu in Xiaowan Town; Xinyuan; Dashi Village; Mengyou Village; Yongxin; and several others, together totalling around 31,000 mu.
Mengyou is an area in Yunnan thick with tea trees, half wild and half cultivated. Many of the old trees here are a hundred years old, while a select few are a thousand or more. The ancient tea plantations here have established a special cultural landscape, lending great vitality to this place.
People here usually climb up the tree to pick tea leaves.
A born-and-bred Yunnan farmer, Mr. Zhou has been avidly contributing to the tea business for more than 20 years. A short chat with him made his passion for using traditional tea crafting processes apparent.
He values the essential quality inside the tea leaves, and says that his experience comes from spending most of his time in the tea gardens along the mountains.
Mr. Zhou is passionate about bringing out that internal quality of the tea to share with tea lovers around the world - and also claims that the best environment for growing the perfect tea is in Fengqing.
At the 14th Chinese Tea Industry Economic Annual Conference in 2021, Mr. Zhou won the honorary title of "National Tea Craftsman -- Tea Master".
This pu-erh cake comes from the representative pu-erh production region of Fengqing, in the southern part of the Dianxi Longitudinal Valley. Fengqing is a county in the northwestern part of Lincang and is one of the four famous pu-erh production areas among Xishuangbanna, Pu’er, and Baoshan, and is also one of the first birthplaces of tea throughout the entire world. It is also famous as being the hometown of Yunnan black tea in Lincang.
Fengqing holds a long history of tea planting, production, and drinking, and the land itself is beautifully varied between high mountains and snaking rivers.
This tea is made from the Fengqing large-leaf species, a unique type of Yunnan large-leaf tea tree. It propagates sexually and is a super large-leaf arbor type, meaning it can grow to be more than six meters tall.
In 1984 this variety was certified by the Chinese government as a national grade. It contains an abundance of tea polyphenol (30.2%) and catechins (13.4%), and also contains 2.9% amino acids and 3.2% caffeine.
Pu-erh is one of the oldest types of tea in China with a history stretching back over 1700 years to the Eastern Han Dynasty, when the tea was called Jing Cha. It is named after the town of Pu’er in Yunnan province, which was originally the early trading center for this tea. In early history pu-erh was used as a bartering currency in southwest China, with the famed Cha Ma Gu Dao, the Tea Horse Road, being built for the purpose of transporting this tea through the Himalayas to other countries and areas in Tibet.