Are you a Whisky-Fan?

Try Tea Cake that tastes just the same

In the world of food and beverage, patience is a key trait that is always well-rewarded. At TDT, we are believers of slow-sipping, slow-cooking, and slow but graceful ‘aging’. If it’s as simple as an Indian vegetable stir fry or an authentic turkey being slowly baked and flavoured, the longer you leave it there, patiently watching; the more enhanced, and complex flavours are developed.

Similarly, certain natural food products, be it wine, cheese or others, taste better than the fresh version; when the good microbes in them are allowed to create more mature, layered flavours.

If you read our curtain raiser article on ‘Tea Cakes’, you already know what tea cakes are, how they are made, and why they are so extraordinarily delicious and beneficial. After feeling the tip of the ice-berg, we are sure you are excited to know more about tea cakes and their diverse categories. We put together this read, for inviting you to join us in exploring the very beautiful world of ‘Pu’erh tea cakes’.

Isn’t all tea ‘Pure’?

By Definition,
Pu’erh (pronounced ‘poor’) is an aged tea that is naturally fermented.
Pu’erh tea is a preferred drink to boost metabolism and aid digestion for over 1,700 years now, a quintessential treasure that tea aficionados go gaga for.

You know you have an authentic pu’erh tea before you, when it consists of the large-leaf subspecies Camellia sinensis var. assamica and is sourced from traditional communities and ethnic minorities. What really makes Pu-erh tea as lustrous as it should be, is the aging process, which sometimes extends for hundreds—if not more—years in the process. 

And like fine wine, it only gets better with age.

Pu’erh Tea can either be Ripe or Raw
Based on fermentation, sourcing and processing, that differentiates its appearance, taste and fragrance.

Ripe - also known as ‘Shui’ or ‘cooked’ pu’erh is long-leafed, rich and a more evolved tea. During its rapid fermentation, the leaves are cooked by piling them together thereby creating required heat. The pile is then turned and this process is repeated until the leaves age to offer the perfect aroma, sharpness and colour. 

Raw - ‘Sheng’ or ‘living’ pu’erh tea, on the other hand is allowed to take its own time, rest for weeks or sometimes months or more and transform into a deeply groomed, mellow and sweet flavoured treasure.

Although organic fermentation of tea is part of life in many vintage cultures, it is largely unknown to many urban drinkers today. Aging tea is not only about leaving some leaves away on a shelf, it is about harnessing the right environment with the right methodologies, expertise and skills. Whether in an ancient mountain cave or in guarded cellars for weeks or sometimes months, and even decades until they are ready to pack and brew. That’s when you gain this absolutely nuanced, ultimate tea-liquor that will cost way, way less than some of the most expensive whiskies!

When I sip it, what happens?

Well-aged pu-erh tea is like that drink that slowly slides down your throat, tickles your insides, refreshes your palate, relaxes your nerves and calms your mind. The best-aged tea is a dark, rich dose of health you will eagerly gulp; brimming with strong tipsy flavours, pungent fruity undertones or deep sweet, floral notes. And trust us, pu’erh tea, which follows a unique microbial fermentation process, slays the aging game - better than any other teas out there.

Thanks to this natural, unique fermentation process, both raw and ripe pu’erh teas acquire  subtle sweet and distinctive malty flavour - that goes flawlessly with brunch meals, paired with a heavy starter-course or even with spicy Chinese takeaway. Evolved chefs also use it as part of their ingredients in an array of dishes. Pu’erh tea is an addiction that you get hold of once, will stand by you forever, and leave you only healthier, more energetic and enthusiastic for life!

And did we mention, it is one of the MOST healthiest ways to manage your diet and daily nutrition?
We’ll talk more about its benefits below, next up is a quick-view of two of our finest Pu’erh tea cakes. 

Bing Dao Raw Pu’erh Tea Cake

A subtle, malty yet powerful pu’erh tea cake, our Bing Dao Raw Pu’erh Tea Cake is one of the best produced Bing Dao teas, if you would like to drink a robustly-aged, single-estate Spring harvest product. Leaves of this cake are plucked from the Bing Dao village at the foothills of Mengku mountains during Spring. Sourced from a 600 year old tree, it grows at an altitude of 2000 meters.

Taste, Flavour, Aroma

Owing to its earthy and refreshing cooling kick in the mouth, it takes the name of ‘Bing Dao’ which means ‘Ice Island’. As you unbox this tea cake, strong, full-bodied aromas fill in the air. Its deep cooling undertones, and a powerful pungent mouth-feeling linger around, waving delicate breezes long after your tea is finished, with a comforting aftertaste. Although occasional astringency surfaces, it's not too bitter, and has an excellent sweet balance that only enhances the complexity of this tea.

What’s great about it?

While most raw pu’erhs require prolonged storage for the flavours to develop, this one can be both stored over-time or enjoyed immediately thanks to the high quality of the leaves used. Stone-pressed, the Bing Dao is a robust and distinctive raw pu-erh tea, that builds its taste on the drinker only after it is tried multiple times. It is known to be highly beneficial for weight loss and digestive care, blood-purification while enhancing sleep with anti-aging and anti-stress properties.

Best way to brew

Tastes best when brewed at 90-98°C for 2-3 minutes, longer or lesser depending on your taste preferences.

More instructions here

This fine pu’erh tea is crafted with packaging that well suits the precious tea. Designed with a wooden-boxing, it will arrive to you, protecting the finely aged tea cake inside, and all of its flavours. Although, you might find a few loose leaves, separated from the cake.

Purple Raw Pu’erh Tea Cake

Aging gracefully, is a mystery that manifests itself in several forms and has a character of its own. You know when you sip it; you are indeed, drinking time.

A rare leaf and bud varietal, Purple Raw Pu’erh Tea Cake is made from plants grown around ancient high altitude farmlands and mountainous regions of the Yunnan province, considered to be one of the healthiest herbal teas.

A naturally occurring purple leaf version, this tea cake is made of long, wiry, dark leaves that are compressed and stored sometimes for over 2 years or more to create their optimum best, flavoursome, sweet fruity liquor with utterly minimal astringency. While astringency is more dependent on the nature and grade of the leaves used; our Purple Raw tea cake is sourced from premium naturally occurring variety plants that account for only about the limited 1-2% of plants in the Yunnan Province. This version consists of purple coloured buds and young leaves, that grow in a way to protect the plant from harsh ultraviolet rays, making it one of the most prized pu’erh tea productions.

 Taste, Flavour, Aroma

The dark purple leaves of this tea when brewed, release sweet, pleasant and woody flavours, that lends a light purple hue to the water. Nothing like any herbal tea you've ever tasted, the clean, smooth and flavoursome liquor comes with fruity undertones and a lasting aftertaste. Having aged sufficiently, this rare tea cake will showcase a deep, full-bodied character with bold, yet soft memories of stone fruits, blackcurrants, and apples. The longer it is stored, the more its specific flavours begin to evolve, and the appearance transcends to a dark purple, almost black look. Lesser aged purple tea cakes have darker green and purple colour visibilities. 

What’s great about it?

If you are pursuing a weight loss diet and want to venture towards the nutritious way to do it, Pu’erh tea is the best - believe us when we say it. Its warming properties are a recognised way to promote weight loss, metabolism, control blood pressure and cholesterol, best savoured after meals. Find a calm corner, sip a cup of purple pu’erh tea and bid adieu to hypertension and stomach ailments. Its high concentrations of antioxidant-rich polyphenols and digestion-boosting compounds are those that are otherwise naturally existent in chocolate, wine, and fruits!

Best way to brew

Tastes best when brewed in a good traditional clay pot at 90-98°C for 3-4 minutes, longer or lesser depending on your taste preferences.

More instructions here

This fine pu’erh tea is crafted with packaging that well suits the precious tea. Designed with a wooden-boxing, it will arrive to you, protecting the finely aged tea cake inside, and all of its flavours. Although, you might find a few loose leaves, separated from the cake.

Keen to explore more?

Here’s a guide of select Pu’erh and other tea cakes resting and aging gloriously in our backyard. Find the one just right for you: 

  1. Mixiang Raw Pu’er Cake

A deep mellow, velvety flavoured tea that has been carefully fermented with natural herbal, minty hints. It provides detoxifying elements that can be added into your every day health and well-being.

  1. Fujian White Moon Cake Tea

Experience a quintessential joy with the rarest white tea, so delicate and sweet. It offers clean, savoury notes of vegetables, fruits and aromatic spices and is packed with antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties.

  1. Shui Yun You Ripe Pu'er Tea Cake

A smooth, subtly rich flavour brew that is an award winning tea of Guangzhou International Tea Expo, 2008. Just like wine, this brew only enhances with time.

  1.  Liu Bao Dark Brick 

This fully fermented, healthfull tea is recommended for non-vegetarians, as it eases out digestion concerns after consuming heavy meals.

Overall, tea cakes do not just have fans or lovers. Those who know about its precious taste and benefits, hoard it and store it, to be taken out and brewed whenever they feel like from their tea-bar, and to be enjoyed over days-long meets with mutually-appreciating friends and family. Once upon a time, it was also bought and gifted to gain social status amongst the elite and used as an investment to sell at a later stage. Its appreciation base is steadily growing and it is indeed ready to slowly become the most-loved brew!

To place an order, individual or bulk,

Whatsapp us at: 9326516075

or

E-mail us at tdtworld@theliquidwisdom.co.

We also take bulk corporate orders and can customize the tins for large gifting orders.

You can also share your queries here and we will reach out to you at our earliest!

Other interesting reads:

Unfurling The Mysteries Of A ‘tea Cake’ 

3 Green Tea Skincare Recipes

Meet Serenity With These 6 Teas