Mandarin packed pu-erh is one of China's more unique tea offerings. What's even better than the way this tea looks, is how it tastes.
The tea-packed oranges are stored in a cool dry location, allowing the tea to ferment and dry within the peel. As the tea ages, the peel and leaf both turn a deep brown. Fermenting in this manner infuses the leaf of earthy pu-erh with highlights of light citrus notes. The brew is clear, tending, golden yellow. NOTE: Orange peel is not intended for consumption.
Size and shape may vary. Weight approximately between: 14 - 25 g or 0.5 - 0.8 oz
China's tea history is so storied and vast that no one can say with certainty who first packed raw pu-erh leaf into the baked peel of a mandarin. Pu-erh was traditionally grown on 6 mountains known as the "Six Famous Tea Mountains in Fujian province."
In the early days of production, tea growers on these mountains devised unique and interesting ways to pack and press their teas. Pu-erh subsequently came to be pressed into the form of mushrooms, coins and bricks, to name but a few. At some point, an ancient producer, seeking a way to differentiate his product in the marketplace, devised a method of hollowing out mandarin oranges, packing his raw leaf inside and aging them in cool mountain caves.
The process used to make mandarin packed pu-erh has remained largely unchanged since early times. To begin, the pu-erh is processed according to traditional methods. Next, fresh mandarin oranges are hollowed out and packed with tea by hand and flash dried at a high heat. (This sterilizes the orange peel and kills off any microorganisms that may be present.)
Traditional Chinese brewing method:
Break off enough tea for one cup, (About a TABLESPOON)
- 1st brew 30 sec.
- 2nd brew 40 sec.
- 3rd brew 40 sec.
- 4th brew 60 sec.
- 5th brew 90 sec.
- 6th brew 120 sec.
With each subsequent brewing, note how the character of this wonderful green pu-erh subtly shifts in terms of strength and flavor.
Bring filtered or spring water to 180°F. Add 1 tsp of tea leaves to an 8oz cup. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves and let steep 4 minutes.
Green pu-erh, natural dried mandarin orange peel ,