zhi zheng wrote:The other issue is that it's possible, but not common, for shu to be made from old tea trees (because of cost), so the validity of any organic certification becomes more critical.
As far as I can tell the organic certification was made after the tea was prepared for export, e.g. the tea was tested at a later point for fertilization residue, rather than looking at the whole process.
zhi zheng wrote:Another factor is that it's widely believed (and seems to be true) that in order to make 'good' shu, with the right kind of bacteria etc. it requires large amounts of tea: variably said to be between 2 and 7 tonnes (metric), so it's less feasible for small producers to make. Also, using single origin maocha tends to produce a flat tasting tea. Common practice is to blend maocha from 3 to 4 different areas to give the tea some complexity.
What does it taste like? The proof of the pudding....
I'm not the most experienced pu-erh drinker. I'm just starting and trying tea from different sources (currently Red Lantern, Nada Cha and my local dealer). I will report if I come to a conclusion.
I've already tasted this cake (without the mission to report) and I think it has a relatively mild personality.
Also 'Tea Geschwendner' (which is absolutely a horrible source for green tea) is offering a loose Mannong Pu which is very similar in taste.
Thanks again for the information so far,