undergrowth - 2007 Yiwu
Our 2007 Undergrowth pu-erh tea blends in the forest's shade with the moss-covered tree roots and the decaying floor always springing new shoots.
Having been in dry storage for the entirety of its existence, its aromas still taste young, with herbal and soft woody tones in the picture. Elegant rusticity, simple clear taste that expresses many different nuances over the course of a steeping session, and bright body that altogether balances sweetness, bitterness and astringency; Undergrowth is our favourite daily brew. Pretty fancy since it comes from such a famous village.
Yiwu is where it all started: The fame, the world-renown terroir, the prized treasures of every collector… when pu-erh tea rose to stardom in the 1990s, Yiwu was the center of attention. The oldest known pu-erh tea processing factories (which were really just homes) were established there and the Yiwu name itself seemed to be a sure sign of quality for investors. Since then, it didn't really change. Even if other areas have surpassed it in terms of selling price nowadays, Yiwu still represents high-class terroir. And farmers are well aware that the ancient tea gardens their ancestors have cultivated long before them are now worth more than a goldmine.
While the leaves from young tea plants still go for decent sums on the market, whatever is plucked out of the very old ones sells for hard-to-believe prices. So the temptation is strong for producers to mix a small percentage of old tree material into their teas and sell them as Gu Shu (lit. "Ancient Trees"). The result is invariably disappointing. Prices rarely match quality. What we opted for instead is a batch made from nothing but younger unpruned tea trees (sheng tai) and transformed in all respects of the Yiwu traditions. Meaning everything is carried locally by a small family-run factory, with stone pressing made by hand. In the end: low price tag, excellent results, and a good feeling of this incredible terroir.
3 $ flat rate shipping on all orders up to 10 tea samples.
*domestic orders only (CA).