Pu Erh tea from a single tea tree (Danzhu)
Ku Zhu Shan Dan Zhu Sheng Pu Erh Tea 2021
The story of this Pu Erh
Ku Zhu Shan Danzhu is again available in our range this year. Unlike in the past, we did not try this Pu Erh tea. In fact, we pre-ordered this tea before the harvest, because if we had acted a little too late, this tea would have been sold out. Based on our last 2 years of experience with this Ku Zhu Shan Dan Zhu, we did not hesitate to buy the same Pu Erh tea from the same garden and most likely the same old trees for tea fans here.
2 weeks after his arrival at our shop, we tried the tea with our tea friend Halyn. Fortunately, we were both fascinated by this year's tea and in fact we found that this year's Danzhu, either because the tea was pressed into cake or because of the drought in Yunnan, was much sweeter and much smoother than last year's tea. The smoothness may be the result of it being made into cake, as the process of steaming and pressing the loose tea into cake takes out the green and astringency of a new tea and speeds up the aging process.
The extreme sweetness may also be due to the steaming and pressing, as well as the drought, as the tea trees don't grow as quickly due to the lack of water and the smaller leaves. In the end, the slow growing process with less energy distribution allows the leaves to accumulate more nutrients. But of course the same trees produce tea of different qualities every year for many different reasons.
Danzhu means single tree. The leaves contained in this pu erh tea all come from a single tree. Leaves from one tree are processed into a batch; they do not mix with leaves from other individual trees. Trees used to make Danzhu tea must be old enough and large enough to produce enough leaves. This means that Danzhu tea must come from old tea trees, not young ones. This tea was made on 03 – 05.04.2021 Harvested tea trees from around 300-year-old tea trees on Mount Ku Zhu Shan in Jinggu City. The trees are on the mountain about 2200 meters above sea level.
Taste and aroma
This year's Ku Zhu Shan Danzhu Pu Erh has a familiar flowery and sweetness for us in general. After all, the tea comes from the same trees as in previous years. What makes it different is its smoothness, as mentioned in the story, and its extreme sweetness that is there as soon as you swallow the tea and lasts for about an hour after you drink the tea. It is really very cute!
We also noticed that the liquid has a subtle, buttery saltiness on the center of the tongue for the first 2 seconds when it gets into your mouth. The saltiness is gone when you swallow, but we suspect that smooth, creamy saltiness at the beginning is one of the reasons the tea tastes extremely sweet afterwards.
This Ku Zhu Shan Dan Zhu Pu Erh has almost no bitterness and the astringency is very subtly present in the second and third infusions, but absent in the first and later infusions.