Menghai Spring tea from 2001 was steamed inside the bamboo using wood fire in a pit. As the bamboo heats up it releases it's perfume like aroma in a steamy vapor softening the tea. The processing requires that as the tea softens it's tamped down into the bamboo forming a kind of cylinder.
This was aged in Kunming since 2002, and is now being offered for sale for the first time! Each bamboo stick has roughly 50 grams of tea in it. To open it up and get the tea out just place on hard ground (not inside the house!) and step down hard with your heel on the open end (this will cause it laterally split in several places). Then put one finger of each hand in the open end and pull outward and it should come apart in at least one section.
The taste of this tea is really completely unlike any other tea I have ever tasted (having tasted thousands of teas), and made quite an impression on me! The tea has notes of watermelon, perfume and molasses. It's a tea that requires some finesse to brew and I'd recommend using less to start and keeping the infusions around 15-20 seconds for the first few steeps. If brewed correctly, this will reward the drink with a (natural) perfume aroma and taste that is out of this world!
50 grams of tea per stick (+/- 8 grams)
2001 Harvested tea