I remember that the very first sip of tea I encountered was Pu-erh Tea. I used to have a few Dim Sum and Pu-erh with chrysanthemum for the breakfast with my parents before attending kindergarten. I have abandoned Pu-erh for years as I found that Pu-erh is too smooth and, in other words, short of bitterness and aftertaste.
A friend of mine gave me a few Chenpi Pu-erh, a new product of China Tea – the largest tea manufacturer in China. Chenpi, literally meaning aged peel, is the sun-dried tangerine. In autumn, the Chinese harvest a specific kind of tangerines, throw the flesh (wasteful but extremely tart), dry the peel and ferment them for a few years before cooking. For Chenpi Pu-erh, the tangerines are hollowed and stuffed with Pu-erh Tea. Every one weighs about 30g which is enough for 4 pots. Sorry, its appearance is not attractive.
China Tea describes this tea as:
Aged flavor style with sweet and rich woodsy taste. Orthodox Xinhui tangerine and selected Yunnan aged Pu-erh.
Chenpi Pu-erh smells strongly and like that of grapefruit. I brewed 6g of tea with a piece of peel. Frankly, I don’t taste Pu-erh tea frequently. But this one is quite earthy and absolutely smooth. More importantly, the calm Pu-erh tea base is rippled by refreshing Chenpi aroma. It is interesting to discover that cool Chenpi Pu-erh tastes surprisingly similar to mild bergamot in Earl Grey. Holding a distinctive character, I prefer cool Chenpi Pu-erh to the hot one.
Like Pu-erh Tea, people believe that aged Chenpi is the best. I heard that there was a speculation in aged Pu-erh in Mainland China. So I shouldn’t have brewed this Chenpi Pu-erh, but store it like finest wines. It may be in the spotlight of Christie’s rostrum a decade later.