Citrus Pu’erh Tea

While in Shanghai I visited a tea market and bought several types of tea. One of them is quite interesting.

Citrus Pu’erh tea is made with citrus from Xinhui in Guangdong Province and tea from Yunnan Province.

Citrus Pu'erh, Tea, Xinhui, TeaThe tea comes in little wrapped balls. They may not look too interesting here, but wait until you see it unwrapped.

Pu'erh Tea, Mandarin, Xinhui, Orange Pu'erhThese little balls of tea are made with an interesting process.

A round hole is created in the outer peel of a citrus fruit. Several varieties of citrus (oranges, limes and tangerines) are used and I am not really sure which is used in this case. The pulp of the citrus is removed and the peel is filled with aged pu’erh tea from Yunnan province. Typically the tea is already aged for several years.

Pu-erh tea, citrus tea, Yunnan provinceAfter the tea is placed in the peel the little balls are dried in the sun and aged for perhaps another year. The tea absorbs flavor from the oils of the citrus peel as it ages.

After the aging process is complete the balls are individually wrapped and prepared for market.

tea infusion, pu'erh tea, citrus teaThe first infusion wakes up the tea. You can see the color leeching out of the opening in the peel. I always like to taste the first infusion, especially if it is something new that I am trying. There was definitely a citrus taste to the tea.

The first time I let the tea infuse for a couple of minutes so that it absorbed as much water as possible.

Pu'erh Tea, Yunnan province, TEa CultureThe second infusion only took about 20-30 seconds till I had a nice rich red tea. The tea is a bit sweet with a very smooth mouth feel. There are definitely some citrus notes from the peel. There is a bit of tang, but not much of an aftertaste. For as dark as the tea is, it is surprising that there was very little astringency.

Later infusions took just a bit longer. I had a bit of trouble understanding the guy at the tea market in Shanghai, but I think I may be able to get 12-15 infusions out of each tea ball. I should make sure I keep track. I think I am on number five 🙂

Steven

 

 

 

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