This is a very gentle fermented tea with warm, earthy notes. These precious leaves hold the wonderful flavours of silky rain water and clean autumn forest floors.
The Satemwa Estate
We expected to find our ideal pu'er in China. But whilst visiting the extraordinary tea garden of Satemwa in Malawi, Henrietta tried a pu'er so soft and yet so deep in flavour, she was astounded.
What they have crafted on Satemwa is something so uniquely complex and yet beautifully clean.
This is a "shu" or "ripe" pu’er.
Pu'er tea is traditionally a very slow fermentation of a partly oxidised "dark" tea that can take decades to reach maturity and cost many thousands of pounds. This ripe pu'er is unusually made from steamed green tea from the oldest fields on the farm. Planted in the 1920s the original seed came direct from China.
It undergoes short wet fermentation to begin the process with a constant monitoring of the temperature and moisture to ensure they build the characteristic clean forest floor flavour.
Henrietta Lovell, who sources all our tea describes it like this:
"Imagine you are in the middle of the forest, it's raining softly. You are sheltering under tall, broad trees. You can smell the wet grass beneath your feet. In a clearing, there is a little wooden house. Rain is dripping from the wooden roof into a deep, wooden barrel. You cup your hands and dip them into the silky water.
This pu'er tastes of the rain water from the wooden barrel with aromas of wet turf and the forest floor."
Indeed it's so good, it is beloved by René Redzepi of Noma.
Pu’er is also known by a myriad of different spellings - Pu'er, Pu'erh, Puer, Puerh, Pu-er, and Pu-erh are all used.