I never post reviews to T Ching, but of course that’s a lot of what I write about in my blog (Tea in the Ancient World).  I’m converting a review of a black tea and sheng from old-plant sources in Laos (from this vendor) into a short version for a post, based on this much longer review.  I always ramble on about brewing approach, infusion by infusion transitions, comparison with other versions, pricing / value issues, and what my morning is like in those posts.   

The sheng is the same as Chinese pu’er, people just don’t call Southeast Asian teas pu’er since it’s a region-specific term now.  It’s my understanding that this evolved over time, that pu’er had been the name of a Yunnan village which the Chinese government renamed for a very long period, which went back to being called that along with the county being renamed.  Maybe that style of tea had always been called pu’er, or maybe it hadn’t, I’m not sure. This article goes into tea type character, history, and aging and storage concerns.

I personally take tea-tree age claims with a grain of salt – no one really knows how old such plants are, although the right botanist could make a good estimate, and claims are as much hearsay based marketing as likelihoods.  

The black tea is essentially a Dian Hong, a style of Yunnan black tea, more or less.

sheng left, black tea right

To be concluded in Phongsaly Laos Sheng and Black Tea Reviews – Part 2

Image provided and copyright held by author