First flush of spring Dehong area tea is gradually steam softened and tamped down into bamboo sections in fire pits. This aromatic bamboo is unique to Mangshi area of Dehong and must be harvested in August. Small fire pits are dug in the village ground and are stoked with bamboo charcoal. The bamboo sections are placed closed end down into the fire pits, as the bamboo heats up the aromatic water vapor in the bamboo sections is relesaed as steam. The sun-dried mao cha is gradually pushed into the hot steaming section of bamboo, and tamped down as it becomes softened by the steam. Once the bamboo sections are filled with tea the sections are allow to roast in the fire a while longer before being removed to a kind of oven room where they are allowed to dry for 2 or 3 days. The charred bamboo sections are then removed and will be processed into bamboo charcoal for further use.The tea itself is subtly aromatic with floral tones. The tea brews easily and isn't too fussy. The tea liquor is golden yellow and transparent. With aging this tea will develop orchid aromas with a hint of sugarcane.
The material is 2012 "da shu" tea from De Hong. The Bamboo fragrance is stronger than the older tea (from 2008), and it seems to last through many more infusions than its predecessor. As you can see from the picture, the soup turns from a golden color (1~4 infusions) to an almost amber-red color (5+ infusions). The bamboo flavor has saturated the leaves and it packs a punch but isn't overpowering. Should improve a lot with age.
Produced in 2012!