On April 26th 2022, we harvested our ancient tea garden named Weng Bo. We laid the leaves on our withering mat. Life kept us busy and unable to process tea for two days. The leaves had been withering for two day when we finally had time to attend to our tea factory. The usual procedure in this case is to let them dry out, this would give us delicious white tea made of ancient garden leaves.
Yet, we felt like using this batch as an opportunity to further our understanding of oxidation. You can hear about different ways of processing Pu-erh tea, often described as a spectrum between green and red, referring to the level of oxidation.
The leaves were already partially oxidized, some of them were even almost dry. If we gave them a kill-green, a rolling and a sun-drying, we'd get a extreme version of reddened Pu-erh tea; this is what we did...
Here is a video of the whole process:
Surprisingly, it turned out very good. Due to the advanced stage of withering, some of the leaves already turned to white tea, others were left half oxidized.
We used a low fire for the sha qing because the water content was already low, but we chose to cook the leaves drier than usual in order to bring out more fragrance and light roasted notes.
This tea is the one you see processed in the video, we only have two woks worth of it.