Like fine wines, pu-erh can be aged for many years. As the tea ages it continues to ferment - its profile reacts to its environment and the leaf takes on new characteristics. Interestingly, white puerh, since it has only been produced in large quantities for a handful of years, has not built up a vintage history. As such, there is much speculation as to how time will treat it. The general consensus in the trade is that white puerh will age gracefully, developing a wonderfully sweet, noble, musty character.
With a 5000-year-old product like tea, developments are always news. While puerhs have been around for centuries, white puerh only appeared in marketable quantities around the year 2000 – at the time, big news! Before 2000, white teas of any sort were produced in such limited quantities that to even dream of experimenting with them was unheard of. Certainly, extremely small quantities of white puerh had been produced in the past, but these were generally scooped up by the cream of Chinese society, government officials or tea loving high rollers in Hong Kong and Macau. This all changed with the democratization of the Chinese economy. This development saw a rise in the overall standard of living in China and with it, new interest rare specialty teas. These rare teas, white puerh among them, are generally only produced for the internal market. From time to time however, they can be purchased and brought over to the West. (The trick is to be in the right place at the right time.) We're thrilled to have been been able to acquire this rare tea. From our first tasting we knew it was a standout.