Stone Axe Ancient Tree Yuan Sheng Tuo (石斧古樹原生沱熟茶, Shí Fǔ Gǔ Shù Yuán Shēng Tuó Shú Chá, "Stone Axe Ancient Tree 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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I was at first apprehensive to the idea of buying any Puers without a year labelled, based off my previous experiences with that, but i get it now. It doesn’t need a year. It doesn’t matter. It’s great regardless. It’s mellow, sweet, spicy, and warming, while maintaining that earthy quality i like in shou but often find in a but of excess. This one strikes a nice balance and even introduces that “fishy” quality, but in a way i can safely describe as actually being good. If i didn’t buy so much other teas & teapots so often, i’d definitely grab a whole cake.
Smooth and nice