More Background on Yunnan Tea

When I wrote about the tasting comparison we did with Yunnan green tea I asked Roy for more information on the four teas and how they were processed. His interesting reply sheds more light on why the teas are so different. For the sake of clarity, I also updated the original article with some of Roy's input.

The final step for puerh is that it is sun dried, not roasted or pan-fired until dry, which can prohibit later bacterial growth that helps age puerh tea. However, I find that even the pan-fired green tea, such as Misty Mountain, ages well. We've had Misty Mountain for around 10 years and it's much better now than when it first arrived. I purchased this tea because of a unique fragrance, but the ocean shipping wiped out that special aromatic, so I put it aside and, after several years, cupping showed improved tasted and mouth-feel.

Sword of the Emperor and Yunnan Spring Tips are both sun-dried, in fact, that's why I bought them. The Yunnan Spring Tips is a few years old and has already improved, with more concentrated flavor and aromatics. I expect Sword of the Emperor to do the same.

Yunnan Mao Feng is a pan-fired green tea that was purchased in part because it's organic. Some may find it too bitter because of the substantial amounts of catechins and polyphenols found in Yunnan tea, but these are good things that can be controlled with lower temperature water and more technique when brewing. I think it's a good tea for the price.