Large leaves from the sub varietal Camellia assamica, locally known as Yunnan Big Leaf, are the source for our lot of Imperial Pu-erh. Typically made in the warmer summer months when the higher temperatures will assist in the fermentation process, the large, wet leaves ferment, building tastes, are torn and shaped and then fired drying the leaves and locking in flavors.
The leaves have been meticulously shaped to a very consistent, beautiful appearance of light tans and soft browns. The aroma is light mushroom, sweet and husky. As there is no grading system for the taste of a Shou or cooked Pu-erh, lots are judged on taste in making selections. In this case, the factory specializes in Pu-erhs and this lot is their highest grade. The flavor we find is full bodied & complex.
As there is no grading system to guide on in selecting ripe Pu-erhs, a satisfying taste is the defining characteristic. Enough moisture has been left in the leaves that they will continue to ferment building deeper flavors. Pu-erh drinkers believe these teas will lower blood cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol (LDL) from forming in the arteries.
Our Imperial is smooth and sweet, offering hints of nuts and cocoa. Aroma is herbaceous, some floral notes and earthy. Cups to deep, red-amber color with an underlying hardiness that will leave a rich aftertaste that can be quite appealing to coffee drinkers. Yet, it is moderate in caffeine.
Be generous with the leaf, to gain a rich full-tasting cup, we'd suggest 1-2 tablespoons of leaf per 8-12 ounces of water. Use water that is boiling and let the leaves steep for 3-4 minutes. Cup should be dark in color. The leaves will steep multiple times.