30g Witches Butter Yuan Sheng Tuo 黄金耳原生沱熟普洱

Li Shulin

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Bag Size:
30.00 Grams
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Witches Butter Yuan Sheng Tuo (黄金耳原生沱熟普洱, Huáng Jīn Ӗr Yuán Shēng Tuó Shú Pǔ'ěr, "Golden Ear Yuan Sheng Tuo Shu Pu'er") -Witches Butter is one of the first two yuan sheng tuo produced by Li since all legacy batches were destroyed by a fire in 2021 (the other being Stone Axe). We named it Witches Butter because it's complex umami forward profile is reminiscent of a mushroom. What is Yuan Sheng Tuo? It's a highly artisan style of fermenting small batch pu'er.

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.

2 Reviews

  • 5
    Witches Butter

    Posted by Tea Burner on Jul 7th 2024

    As advertised, this is no typical loose-leaf tea. This Tuo, or "chunk" tea forms little nuggets. Some are tightly bound, and require a good amount of elbow grease to snap, while others, you're able to flake off with just a little bit of encouragement. Upon the initial wash, you get the typical earthy, woody scent as expected with shu puer, along with a bright accent that is unique to this. The taste takes awhile to fully develop. Initially, there is a strong "umami" flavor that's reminiscent of soy sauce. As the chunks open up, then you get into the "Witches Butter" portion. Another reviewer mentioned that the tea tasted like an ice cream stick, which is what exactly I was tasting, even down to the drying sensation . A round sweetness grows more pronounced on later steeps, a sweetness that reminds me of taffy or frosting, excluding anything artificial or cloying. On the exhale, there is an apple-like acidity that lasts quite long. One could compare that to the citrus-rind huigan of certain Sheng Puers. Certainly one of the most unique tea's I've ever tasted, and it distinguishes itself from the usually muddy Shu Puers. Of note, this is probably the only tea where I prefer the later, "draw-down" steepings, to the earlier "build-up" steepings.

  • 5
    First time having this kind

    Posted by Anthony Guarino on Mar 14th 2024

    By far my favorite form of a shu / shou puer. This one reminds me of the stick of an ice cream popsicle. Still in an old tea kinda way