Swallow's Nest – Southern Yunnan Sheng Puerh – Xishuangbanna, China 2004 - 3.5 oz.
This one-bud, one-leaf, old-growth Southern Yunnan Sheng Puerh maintains a slight spice that is balanced by flavors of herbaceous, mildly sweet green herbs. Sorrel and sap yield a supple, thick-bodied tea that is refreshing, nourishing and more comfortable than most mid-aged puerh. The Qi is strong, yet calming and Yin, like the sensation of walking through an ancient forest. This tea was a bit of a sleeper in the sense that we enjoyed it the first two times we had it, but it wasn't until the third or fourth session that the "wow" factor occured. Perhaps this is due to the complexity of the tea, or the fact that it hovers in the region between old and young puerh. Either way, Swallow's Nest is simply a superb and very drinkable tea that we found ourselves enjoying often throughout the Fall.
These “nests,” called tuocha, have become quite hard over time. We apologize for the difficulty in breaking them up, but this is common with teas of this age and pressing methodology. We recommend using a knife and looking for loose spots in the leaves. You can whittle the cake loose on a plate, and put all the smaller pieces back into the bag. We recommend brewing this tea in a small gongfu pot with small cups or in a sidehandle pot with bowls. This tea steeps for as many as 20 steepings or more. We particularly enjoy observing the way it changes from one steeping to the next. You receive the entire nest.