Lucky Anchor Yuan Sheng Tuo (副牌原生沱熟茶, Fù Pái Yuán Shēng Tuó Shú Chá, "Lucky Brand Original Life Tuo Ripe Tea") - The name Yuán Shēng Tuó is coined by Li Shulin referring to a technique for the artisan fermentation of very small batches of Pu'er. In contrast to the industrial Wò Duī 渥堆 (“Moistening and Piling”) process and the smaller scale Xiǎo Duī Zi 小堆子 (“Small Pile”) process, tea leaves are not turned during the maturation of Yuán Shēng Tuó. This allows the micro-organisms that ferment the tea to form networks of hyphae, causing the leaves to consolidate into a solid chunk, the word Tuó 沱 ("chunk") refers to this solid amorphous shape. Li Shulin’s motivation for this style of fermentation was to recreate the complex flavor of the old, naturally fermented Sheng Pu'er that he drank as a child. This process is slower, smaller, and requires more skill and attention than the Wò Duī or Xiǎo Duī Zi processes. It can only be done with a maximum of ten kilograms of tea at a time. As a result, each individual batch of Yuán Shēng Tuó is unique, though all possess the rich, earthy organic flavor of Shu Pu'er while retaining the complex fragrance of Sheng Pu'er.
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First, this is a visually attractive tea. Dark with bright warm lines of hyphae webbing across and through it. The smell and taste are both gently earthy and vaguely cake-y. I get an extra hint of ube in the taste that isn't as present in the smell. Excellent puerh. My compliments to the chef.
I'm fairly new to gong fu tea as a whole and have only tried a few pu'erhs but this is one of my favorite teas. I like the richness of it and the earthy taste (never thought dirt could taste this good!) Both me and my brother agree that the aftertaste is like a root beer flavor.