2019 Nan Nuo Sheng Puer Tea
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If only a tea was a six-course meal – this one is classy, complex, and nourishing. You’ll taste bitter floral, sweet fruit, and wild, gamey flavors all marbled together.
This 2019 spring tea was made by Mr. Zhao Tian from a 200 year-old tea tree on Nan Nuo Shan, a mountain located in Menghai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. Tea material from this area is in high demand. Mr. Zhao’s family is part of the Ai Ni people and they allow the tea trees in this area to grow naturally – no pesticides or pest maintenance of any kind.
The name “Nan Nuo” roughly translates to “bamboo shoots sauce” in the language of the local Dai people, who at one point ruled this area. This sauce is one of their cheap, staple foods. The story goes that a high-ranking officer visited Nan Nuo and wanted to try the local food because he was bored with the fancy food being served at the official dinners. He loved the bamboo shoots sauce so much that he requested it annually from then on. This was a point of pride for the Dai people, so they named the area after it.
We met Mr. Zhao in July 2019. As a courtesy to his guests, Mr. Zhao cooked us a six-course meal (as traditional meals in China always contain many plates) in his humble flat. All food was prepared over a small, indoor, open flame pit and a cutting board on the floor in front of it. He insisted we drink his tea while he cooked (and we obliged). Though the accommodations were unusual to a westerner, it was remarkable for how normal and comfortable it all felt having lunch amongst almost total strangers. He was such a good host, he sent us home with a dried chili seasoning mix he made after seeing our appreciation for spicy food. Maybe we’ll name something in our neighborhood after it.
Ingredients: puer tea
3 grams | 8 oz water | 195°F | Steep 3 min.
6 grams | 6 oz water | 195°F | Rinse 5 sec. | Steep 10-20 sec.
Number of Cups
2 oz makes 19 cups, 4 oz makes 38 cups, 1 lb makes 151 cups