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Mi Di Raw Pu-erh Tea : HOJO TEA

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HOME>Dark tea>Mi Di Raw Pu-Erh

pu-erh tea

 

Raw puerh is the original Yunnan tea.

By far, many customers associate Pu-erh tea as tea with liquor that is dark brown in color and gives moldy or muddy smell. In fact, tea that has “brown liquor and moldy smell” is just referring to one type of Pu-erh teas, we call it Pu-erh ripe tea. Pu-erh ripe tea is invented back in 1973. It was produced with the microbiological fermentation. Most of Pu-erh teas available in oversea market are this sort of ripe tea. However Pu-erh ripe tea is not the original Pu-erh tea. In Yunnan province, Pu-erh tea means "raw Pu-erh". The ripe Pu-erh is considered as "export tea". Most of tea connoisseurs, me included seek for Pu-erh raw tea. Although both teas shared the same name as "Pu-erh", the Pu-erh raw tea and ripe tea is completely different kind of tea. In fact it is as different as comparing black tea and green tea.

If you wish to learn about pu-erh tea in detail, please click here >>

 

The name of Mi Di refers to the location where this tea was grown. Mi Di is located in South West of Yunnan province in China. Hojo selected the raw material of Mi Di that is made from the spring tea leaves plucked from tea tree aged at 300-500 years old. It is very easy to tell whether a tea is made from very old tea trees or not. When we drink tea produced from old tea bush, we will feel that its taste travels very deep down the throat and its sweetness lingers for a very long time. Many customers thought that the taste of tea made from the old bush is very bitter or astringent. But the truth is the other way round. Old tea trees produce tea that gives very smooth and sweet taste. 

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This tea is produced by minorities in Yunnan. They were historically originated from South East Asia. Most of their tea trees existed ever since long ago. Today, these tea trees adapted into the surrounding natural environment and grew just like wild plants. Usually, they go to the mountain to pluck tea leaves whenever they need to make some money for living. The environment of the mountain where these tea trees grow is just like any ordinary mountain area. Needless to say, no fertilizer or pesticide is applied. Thanks to the fact that tea trees were left to grow like wild trees and no chemicals were applied, their natural habitat has a very efficient ecological system. The pests co-exist with their natural enemies. Thanks to no pesticide, these natural enemies of pest can survive in adequate numbers to keep the pest population under control.

 

Pu-erh raw tea has more than 1000 years of long history and China is the only country that produces Pu-erh tea. It was originated from Yunnan province in southwest China. In Yunnan, the locals drink this tea on a daily basis. In making Pu-erh raw tea, the quality of raw material has a critical impact on the quality of finished tea.  
What are the quality criteria of good Pu-erh raw tea? We noticed that many people thought that Pu-erh tea is very special and different from other teas. However, Pu-erh tea is also one type of tea. There is no difference in its character from other types of tea. No exceptional taken just because it is Pu-erh tea. 
The quality of Pu-erh consists of 2 elements.

 

1. Intensity of after taste


Good tea gives very deep after taste which allows you to enjoy the taste deep down in your throat. The flavor of good tea stays longer in the throat and lasts for a long time. This quality aspect has nothing to do with the method of processing. The intensity of after taste is due to the minerals content of tea leaves. Usually, tea produced from old tea trees or trees grown at high altitude will give much better quality and after taste.

 

2. Quality of flavor


Tea must maintain its fresh flavor. As a matter of fact, most of Pu-erh teas were stored under inappropriate environment where the humidity tends to be very high. As a result, tea loses its fresh flavor, and instead it gives oxidized and sour flavor. Many people misunderstand that this sort of oxidized flavor as the flavor of “aging”. In fact, Pu-erh tea that has undergone proper aging naturally gives a fresh fruity flavor. 

3. Astringency


Tea that gives bitter or astringent taste indicates that it is not early spring tea. They are plucked either during end of spring or summer. Usually those teas are classified as lower quality. Spring tea is high in quality, but the yield of early spring tea is very limited in a year. Thus, majority of Pu-erh raw tea available in tea market is summer tea which tastes bitter and/or astringent. Many customers told us that they could not drink freshly made raw Pu-erh because it was too strong (bitter or astringent) and therefore raw tea has to be kept for more than 5 years before it can be consumed. In a way, this is true but also not so true. If the tea is made of tea leaves plucked in early spring, it will never taste bitter or astringent. In fact, most people in Yunnan like to drink fresh Pu-erh tea produced less than a year. Only occasionally, the locals in Yunnan drink vintage Pu-erh tea. 

 

プーアル茶 プーアル茶

The outlook of this area is just like ordinary natural mountain. The tree shown in the photo is the tea tree ages around 300 years old.

The growing environment of old tea trees in Yunnan province.

プーアル茶 プーアル茶
The photo shows a lady on top of a tea tree. She has to climb the tea tree to pluck tea leaves. The old tree has very long roots and thus it is able to absorb more minerals from the ground.

 

 

If you wish to learn about pu-erh tea in detail, please click here >>

 

 

pu-erh tea

 

If you wish to learn about pu-erh tea in detail, please click here >>

 

 

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Brewing Method

(1) Water

 


If you are using tap water, it is necessary to filter the water using an activated carbon filter. If not, you wouldn't be able to enjoy the authentic taste of tea. Chlorine is added to tap water in order to sanitize bacteria. This chlorinated water will also harm our body cells. Concerning about our health condition, it is very important to remove chlorine from drinking water. The most effective method in removing chlorine is to install an activated carbon filter. This type of filter is designed for removing organic substance. It will remove not only chlorine, but also other harmful substance such as contaminated pesticide. The activated carbon filter can be easily obtained from the common hardware shop in most countries. If activated carbon filter is not available, please place a charcoal inside the water and leave it for overnight. The material composed of activated carbon filter is made of ground charcoal. The difference is that activated carbon filter contains much finer particles and hence it has extremely large surface area for a better efficiency in filtration. The intensity of after taste becomes stronger if water is kept overnight. Keeping water with stones or inside clay jar will increase the content of minerals. However, you need to confirm whether or not the water kept inside particular jar or with stone is suitable with your tea or tea equipment (such as teapot). If water jar carries certain minerals like copper or zinc, it will rather spoil the taste and flavor of tea. For this, you need to confirm with experiment on try and error basis.
For boiling water, please do not use aluminum or copper kettle. It spoils the taste of water. We suggest using kettle made of iron, stainless steel, tin or glass.
In the long run, you may observe a thick layer of scale accumulated inside your kettle. Our mother usually taught us to wash and remove it with citric acid. But please do not even try to remove the scale. Scale consists of minerals that exist in the water. The mineral composition is reflected from the water you used. If you remove the scale, the mineral ion balance between scale and water is destroyed. This balance is called buffer effect in science. The flavor and taste will seriously run out and you won't be able to get previous taste and flavor for a long time. It is also important to stick to the same type of water whenever brewing tea. If source of water is changed, it carries different type of minerals. It will affect the mineral ion balance too.

 


Go to further information about suitable water for brewing tea >>


Go to further information about suitable water for brewing tea >>

(2) Quantity of tea leaves


Use 1g of tea leaves for 40ml of water. It means that you need 5g of tea leaves for 200ml of water.

(3) Temperature


It is important to use boiling water. Please do not stop as soon as water is boiled. It is advisable to keep water boiling for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

(4) Warm up teapot

For brewing Mi Di raw puerh, it is recommended to use a red clay or Shigaraki clay tea pot. It is important to pour boiling water into the teapot and leave it for about 10 seconds. Without this rinsing process, the temperature of boiling water decrease about 20 degree C when it is pour into the teapot.

(5) Warm up tea leaves

Place tea leaves in teapot and pour boiling water again. Leave it for less than a second and discard the water, and immediately pour boiling water one more time and repeat the same procedure. Without this step, the temperature of tea will reduce nearly 30 degree C.
If (4) and (5) is not carried out, your brewing temperature will be 50-60 degree C. This is too low to extract sufficient flavor and taste. Please repeat rinsing process one more time. Please do not soak tea for more than a second.

(6)Brewing Time

1st Brewing: A few seconds
2nd Brewing Onwards: Less than a few seconds.

You can brew up to even 8-10 brewing using the same tea leaves. From 2nd brewing onwards, it is very important to keep brewing time as short as you can. As tea leaf is wet and hot, definitely it is not necessary to brew more than a few seconds.
Note: Please remove the lid while you are waiting for subsequent brewing. If the lid is not removes, tea leaves will be over steamed and get oxidized.

Simple Brewing Method using Gaiwan

 

Firstly, warm up the Gaiwan with boiling water, and then place tea leaves up to 60-70% of the capacity of Gaiwan. We use 1g of tea leaves for 10ml of water. So if the capacity of Gaiwan is 100ml, we need about 5g of tea leaves. Please remember to place tea leaves gently and not to compress it into the Gaiwan. Pour boiling water up to the level of tea leaves, and then place the lid and immediately pour out the water from Gaiwan. Repeat this action once more. It means you need to rinse the tea leaves twice with boiling water. This action is to warm up tea leaves and also to open up the leaves. These actions must be carried out swiftly so as not to lose the precious flavor and taste of tea.

For the actual brewing, it does not require long infusion like making other teas. Instead, you have to brew it the "touch and go" style. As soon as you pour the boiling water up to the level of tea leaves, place the lid to Gaiwan and then immediately pour out the tea without letting it soak. It is recommended to accumulate the 1st and 2nd brewing into a pitcher in order to even out the flavor and taste. For each subsequent brewing, you just need to brew less than a second. By brewing this "touch and go" style, you can continue brew up to nearly 20 times.

If you wish to learn about Pu-erh tea in detail, please click here >>

 

Note: Please remove the lid while you are waiting for subsequent brewing. Tea leaf will be over steamed and get oxidized if the lid is not removed.

 

Storage of Tea


Pu-erh tea can lasts more than 10 - 20 years as long as tea is kept in dry environment. Before tea is kept, it must be tightly sealed. Tea should be kept in ambient temperature and dry conditions such as in the living room and it must not be kept in humid environment like in the kitchen. Avoid enclosed area such as inside the cupboard or drawer as these places are damp. Also avoid opening the bag of tea in humid atmosphere. It is recommended to open the bag during a sunny day or under air-conditioned atmosphere. Once tea leaves absorb moisture, deterioration of tea will be triggered within a few days. Tea will give an astringent taste, and sometime it tastes sour. Its aroma also becomes weaker.

Traditionally, Pu-erh tea is compressed to remove oxygen from the leaves and kept it intact. It was the wisdom of ancient people to keep tea without oxygen and let it matured very well.

From scientific point of view, oxidation does not only refer to receiving oxygen. The oxidation also takes place when it releases hydrogen and receives electron. Even if tea is kept without oxygen, it will still undergo oxidation.

In 1960's, generally Pu-erh tea was compressed tightly and shaped like a bing (flat and thin round cake). It was called “iron bing”. The tea leaf was compressed extremely tight until it became like a piece of stone; we can hardly pry it even if we use the proper tool that designed for prying the Pu-erh cake. This style of compression succeeded the elimination of oxygen from the tea leaves. If you have ever tried this kind of Pu-erh iron bing, you would know that it was very well-matured. It gives flavour like honey with fruity note and gives no earthy flavour at all. The only problem is that it is so difficult to loosen the leaves from the iron bing and the leaves are often damaged during the process.
On the other hand, nowadays most of Pu-erh cakes are loosely compressed. Some of the Pu-erh cakes can be easily break apart by fingers. Obviously there is oxygen remained in between the leaves.  If we keep loosely-compressed Pu-erh in ambient environment, tea will expose to not only oxygen but also moisture and develop unwanted oxidation that usually generates earthy flavour. To achieve the same maturation effect like the iron bing, we encourage customer to keep Pu-erh tea without oxygen. With modern technology, we are able to apply the same theory.  Some people in Taiwan intentionally keep high mountain oolong in the vacuum bag for a few years. In the beginning, high mountain oolong is green in colour and it gives a delightful fresh flowery flavour. After a few years of maturation, the leaves turn into yellow colour and it gives the flavour like ripen peach or apricot. This is exactly the same effect as what we are looking for in Pu-erh tea. Based on our experience, well-matured Pu-erh tea gives a very fruity flavour and no earthy or mouldy flavour at all.

Wrapping Method for Pu-erhTea

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Payment

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We accept various kinds of credit card through Paypal.

Only if customer prefer other option of payment, we suggest "Bank Transfer".

 

Shipping

Various choice of shipping method

EMS, SAL, Small Packet, Small Packet (SAL) Yamato Express and Surface

For shipping tea, we usually suggest small air parcel, the estimated shipping cost of tea in 100g (with wrapping material ) is

Small Parcel

USA JPY 600, EU JPY600 and Asia JPY470

Small Packet (SAL)

USA JPY380, EU JPY380 and Asia JPY320

The shipping fee to oversea by small air parcel happens to be even cheaper than domestic shipping fee in Japan.

 

Custom Fee

For your information, some countries, EU in particular imposes custom duty. We need buyer to bare the duty. We are sorry, but we cannot change the amount on the invoice, and we do not mark any packages as gifts. We will strictly follow the custom regulation.

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