Shattered Silver with Glutinous Rice Fragrance 2018

Shattered Silver with Glutinous Rice Fragrance 2018

from 3.00
  • handmade item

  • materials: big-leaved arbor tea leaves from the border of China-Laos

  • shape: loose

This is a shou pu-erh that is processed from Laochatou. It earned the name from the resemblance to the shattered silver ingots that were once used as a currency in ancient China.

The leaves of a herbal plant indigenous to Mengla county in Xishuangbanna prefecture called Semnostachya Menglaensis Tsui is added to develop a basmati rice flavour that couples nicely with the mellowness of this tea. The plant is commonly known as the “glutinous rice fragrance plant” in China. It is a traditional custom of the local Dai ethnic group to add this herbal plant to sheng and shou pu-erh to elevate the fragrance. Moderate amount of the herb helps to clear away heat and strengthen the stomach.

Chatou means “tea nuggets”, which is the clustered tea produced during the fermentation process of shou pu-erh. The pile is turned from time to time to reduce the high temperature within and to prevent over-fermentation. Pectin released from the tea leaves by this turning motion agglomerates with other leaves within the pile to form chatou.

The ones at the bottom of the fermentation pile are pressed more tightly due to the weight, and their fermentation level is higher. These small and compact chatou are then hand picked, cut and polished to become the shattered silver. One batch of fermentation process produces 1-1.5% of chatou by weight, and less than 0.25% shattered silver.

Tea leaves high in sugar and pectin form nuggets more easily. Compared to loose leave shou pu-erh from the same batch, chatou has a higher fermentation level with higher level of sugar, therefore producing richer liquid. Shattered silver is even more ripe than chatou, hence its darker colour and denser texture. This renders a smoother and warmer mouth feel, along with a honey-like taste filled with aroma of dates and glutinous rice.

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