Chahuashi, which literally means “Stone Flower”, is a very new tea on the market which is closed related to an old-classic that we love Cha Tou, which means “Tea Nuggets” or sometimes known as Lao Cha Tou or “old Tea Nuggets”, when they are aged. So what is Cha Tou and how is Chahuashi different? Cha Tou are the lumps of puerh that form at the bottom of the fermentation pile in the wet-piling stage. Throughout the course of shou puerh fermentation the pile is stirred and the heap is turned numerous times to achieve a homogenized fermentation throughout the batch. In this turning however lots of sweet pectin from the tender leaves and buds drips down to the bottom of the fermentation pile and forms lumps of tea due to the weight and compression of the fermentation pile. These lumps of tea ferment at a different rate than the rest of the fermentation pile. They also trap moisture which comtinues to evolve and mature at a different rate over time. Cha Tou is especially sweet and its flavor resembles Chinese Dates. Tea lovers love them because they make for fantastic, and very prolonged Boiled Tea Sessions as they handle many, many steepings. Chahuashi are just like Cha Tou but they've undergone and special cutting and screening technique that compresses them further until they appear like hard stone pebbles. Making them especially compact.
The leaves used for this Shou Puerh were harvested in Spring 2019 in Baishui, Zhenyuan which is in Pu'er Prefecture (Simao). If you prepare this tea in a shiboridashi or teapot as you would any other shou puerh you will get a light and transluscent, very sweet brew with leather and whole-grain rice aroma that is very silky and smooth in mouth and tastes of Jujube or Chinese red dates. But to truly get the most out of this tea we highly recommend you boil the Stone Flowers for a few minutes, increasing boiling times with each insfusion the high temperature will penetrate the hardened leaves and you will geta much darker and deeper, more flavorful cup. As you boil and reboil the flavor will change and intensify and take on even sweeter notes that evoke liquorice. This tea handles many, many boilings just keep going!
Origin: Baishui, Zhenyuan, Pu'er, Yunnan, China
Harvest: Spring, 2019
Color of liquor: orangish-brown
Aroma: sweet, leather, menthol, rye bread
Flavor: light, sweet, smooth earthiness. When boiled: mushrooms, lingering sweetness
Temperature: 100º c
Steeping Time: Best when prepared as Boiled Tea, but otherwise try longer steepings since this tea is compressed hard. For example: 2,5min; 3,5min; 4min; 5min