Old Tea Head
Popular Shou Pu-erh, also known as 'Dragon Lumps' or 'Pu-erh rocks', a , being a reflection of the appearance of the Lao Cha Tou, being tightly compressed into lumps of tea leaves and buds.
The colour of the tea leaves are dark brown and produces a mellow taste with thick body.
The pu-erh tea “Old Tea Head” is our newest pu-erh tea and replacing the Banna pu-erh tea. Because we could not find the proper quality Banna we decided to introduce a worthy replacement, being “
Old Tea Head”. “Old Tea Head” is a translation from the Chinese word 'Lao Cha Tou', and is a agglomeration of tea leaves during its warp heap fermentation. This tea is a very popular Shou Pu-erh, and has other names as well, such as 'Dragon Lumps', and 'Pu-erh rocks'.
All these titles reflect to the appearance of the Lao Cha Tou, being tightly compressed into lumps of tea leaves and buds. Usually, during the production process, Shou Puerh is kept for a long time in tanks or in piles. The Puerh leaves are then mixed by hand and periodically also with forks. However, the bottom of the piles are hard to access. At the bottom, under the influence of high levels of humidity, temperatures and lack of oxygen, the tea leaves and buds stick together in dense clumps, This is called “cha-tou” in Chinese which literally means the “tea head”. Once the cha-tou is formed, the moisture trapped within the leaves will undergo a certain fermentation or maturation that will produce a dried-fruity flavour. The taste and aroma of the Lao Cha Tou is slightly earthy and has a pronounced prune taste and in this respect it is very similar to other pu-erh teas. Some say it has a pleasant bitterness, a nutty and pronounced taste of dried fruit, a great sweetness of flavor with hints of chocolate and a very long aftertaste.
This tea comes from the Yunnan province in China. Yunnan is a well know tea producing area for centuries and is a large area in itself. One part is very famous for pu-erh tea, i.e. Xishuang Banna, this is due to the fact that it was the origin of the ancient tea route. At that time, fresh tea leaves were plucked and then just dried. Only since the Han dynasty, the tea was dried and compressed without any additional processes. The raw pu-erh tea was invented and introduced during the dynasty of Ming which was about 700-800 years ago.
This tea is from the Menghai region, a western county in the Xishuangbanna tea area, not only famous for the tea but also very beautiful region. However, many other places in Yunnan also produce pu-erh tea. Most of the pu-erh tea production areas were developed either along the mountain, like Wu Liang Shan (无量山), Ai Lao Shan (哀牢山) and Da Xue Shan (大雪山), or it was developed along the river, like Mekong River.
This tea belongs to the family of ripe (Shou/Shu Chá) pu-erh and has a much shorter history compared to raw (Sheng/ Cha) pu-erh. Both types of pu erh tea are created from máochá (毛茶), a mostly unoxidized green tea processed from a "large leaf" variety of Camellia sinensis var. assamica found in the mountains of southern Yunnan. Ripe (Shou) pu-erh was developed in 1973-1974 at Kunming Tea Factory (昆明茶厂) with reference to the process of ancient dark tea, such as Fuzhuan Cha, that is produced by mold fermentation. While the tea undergoes fermentation, the mold produces a certain organic acid that causes the pH of the tea to reduced resulting in a complete fermentation within a much shorter duration than the traditional way of fermenting pu-erh tea. Hence, the colour of the tea leaves changes to dark brown and produces a mellow taste with thick body. Pu-erh tea differs from other Chinese tea due to several specific characteristics.
This tea is produced from the broad-leaf varietal mostly found in the southern Chinese provinces (and India). Other teas are produced from the small-leaf Chinese varietal. Another second characteristic is that that pu-erh leaves are picked as one bud and 3-4 leaves, this means that older leaves contribute to the qualities of pu-erh tea. A third characteristic is in the process of producing pu-erh tea, it is the only in which storage is key to taste and quality.
|Other names||'Pu-erh rocks'|
|Appeareance||lumps of tea leaves and buds|
|taste||slightly earthy, pleasant bitterness, dried fruit, long aftertaste.|
|Price per cup||No|
|Instagram Hash Tag||No|
1. Perfect for brewing in a gaiwan, flask or earthernware pot. 2. Pour boiling water over teware to cleanse it and warm it up. 3. Put 5-7 grams of tea leaves per 100-120 ml of water. 4. Pour boiling water over the leaves. The first brew should be around 30 seconds. 5. the first brew should be discarded as it is merely designed to wash the tea. 6. The second steep can be made after a few seconds to around 20 seconds, depending on one's taste. (The shorter the brewing time, the more steeps the tea can endure). This tea can be brewed up to 7-8 times.