Sunday, July 12, 2009

2007 Haiwan Lao Cha Tou

This is  2007 Haiwan production.  Weighs 500g and comes  packaged in a paper box.

Lao cha tou is considered a ripe pu erh tea.  Ripe pu erh tea that has completed fermentation are put in a blower to sort out the sizes and grade of the tea.  The remaining tea found after the "blower' process are those tea leaves that have clumped up to be to heavy to be sorted.  This clumps of tea are fermented ripe tea on the outside with some tea leaves inside the lumps having different states of fermentation.

Yunnan Sourcing describes this tea as "Cha Tou is a type of compressed nugget that is the by product of fermenting Pu-erh tea. At the end of the 40+ day fermentation process (where the Pu-erh tea is fermented unto itself), the tea is fed into a wind-blowing sorter that sorts the tea according to its size (grade). The cha tou is found near the bottom of the pile of Pu-erh and is formed as a result of heat and relatively high compression.  "Lao Cha Tou" translates roughly to: old tea nugget. Haiwan tea factory used 1, 2 and 3 year old "cha tou" and compressed them into a brick. ."

I have found the  500gm brick to be large 25 x 12.5 cm (8 x 5 inches).  The compression is medium and the entire brick can be broken  down by hand into pieces for storage.  The tea leaves are fragrant and the aroma from brewing the tea is very pleasant (hint of cereal and nut), no bitterness with a creamy sweet aftertaste.  I found that I could, after discarding the 1st two infusions for washing the tea, make more than 12 infusions  (I use about 8-10 gm in a 200 ml pot).  I make 6 cups in the morning and another 6 (discarding the 7th infusion) in the evening.    I usually give up by the 12th infusion as it is too much tea for me.  I would recommend this tea to a pu erh beginner or those who have a preference for ripe pu erh tea.  I would rate this tea as excellent and provides good value for money (if you count the number of cups of tea you get from this brick).  

joke of the day;
How long does it take to ship tea from China by slow boat?
Oolong Time!

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