Bai Long Xu Gong Cha (White Dragon Whiskers) 2016

Sheng Puer Cake 200g 2016

This puer is unusual compared to other puers. The buds are fresh, silver, and fuzzy. They yield a rich, sweet, and complex brew, like a bunch of fresh-picked flowers, due in part to the high concentration of amino acids. The color is a bright, light apricot color and the aroma will accompany you through the last cup. Puer tea drinkers of all types will find something to like about this cake.

$79.00

48 in stock


Tea Origin
Mo Jiang County, Southern Yunnan Province

Tea Bush
Southern Yunnan "Big Hair" ancient local tree

Tea Master
Li Dong

Harvest Time
before Qing Ming Festival (April 5th)

Picking Standard
1st grade -- Buds only

The original mother bush used to make this tea grows at an elevation of 1,700 meters (more than 5,500 feet) in Yang Ta village. The mature leaves are large — 13-17 centimeters long and 5-8 centimeters wide. The tree itself grows from 3 to 5 meters tall and is easy to cultivate by cuttings, which has contributed to its spread.

The tree is strong and robust even through harsh winters, and produces unusually fat and evenly sized buds with lots of white down early in the spring. Since the Qing Dynasty, these buds have been picked and given to the Emperor under the name Bai Long Xu Gong Cha, or “White Dragon Whiskers Tribute Tea.” Buds for this cake are picked before the Qing Ming Festival around April 25th, just like high quality green tea.

This puer cake is unusual compared to other puer teas. The buds are fresh, silver, and fuzzy. They yield a rich, sweet, and complex brew with an aroma like a bunch of fresh-picked flowers that is due in part to the high concentration of sweet-smelling amino acids in the tea buds. The color is a bright, light apricot color and the aroma will accompany you through the last cup. Puer tea drinkers of all types will find something to like about this cake.

Making Puer Cakes

To compress puer into cakes, the tea is weighed with a scale traditional weight was 357 grams, but now many factories use 400 grams as a standard. A piece of cotton fabric that will hold the tea leaves is placed inside a special 1 foot deep tin bucket that has holes on the bottom. Then the bucket it is filled nearly to the top with dried tea leaves.

They place a one inch square of paper that is stamped with the company’s logo on top of the cake, with a few leaves covering the sign. The stamp will become slightly embedded in the cake, a sign of authenticity showing that the tea has not been separated from its original label. One person sits in front of a steamer, steaming the leaves for 3-5 seconds and then removing the fabric and wet leaves from the bucket. The dry tea leaves are condensed from being very light and puffy down to a layer only 3 inches thick. The next person will quickly tie the fabric, making a knot at the end. They then compress the knot into the center of the cake under a compression machine. It takes a perfectly precise amount of pressure to compact the wet tea leaves tightly into a one inch thick cake. This process leaves the tell-tale indentation mark on the back of puer cakes.

Some producers still use the traditional method of compressing cakes, which requires two stone molds curved to match the shape of puer cakes. Someone stands on top of the filled mold and applies their body weight evenly to press the cake into shape. Factories that use this method will have one worker whose job it is to compress these cakes so that they are all compressed the same amount. They must be a specific weight so as to not over-compress the cakes.

The small amount of space between the leaves after compression will allow air to move through and naturally ferment the cake over years. After a few hours, the wet cakes are removed from the fabric and placed on wooden shelves to slowly dry for a few hours at a temperature of about 40 degrees celsius.

Once the tea is dry, the cakes are sent to a skilled tea worker who uses cotton paper to quickly wrap the cakes. They will fold the squares of cotton paper so there are exactly sixteen folds. Stacks of 7 cakes are packed in clean, dry bamboo shells. These shells are tied together with bamboo string to secure them for transportation. This traditional  packing method is still often used. The bamboo shell will protect the tea from rain while still allowing the tea to breathe. Bamboo is a very neutral scent, and will insulate the tea from picking up other scents.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Bai Long Xu Gong Cha (White Dragon Whiskers) 2016 brewing guidelines

Weight per piece: 200 grams
How to store: Store in a dark, well ventilated area with less than 70% humidity. Less than 25 degrees C or 77 degrees F. Store in the paper or fabric, not plastic. Keep away from odors and fragrances.

How to infuse: Any cup, pot, or gaiwan made of porcelain, glass, yixing clay, iron, or other material will work.
Brewing Guidelines:
1st infusion — Loosen and gently break off about 5 grams of tea from the brick for approx. 12 ounces water. Use boiling water to infuse for 5 minutes.
2nd infusion — Boiling water, infuse for 2 minutes
3rd infusion — Boiling water, infuse for 3 minutes
4th to 7th infusion — Boiling water, infuse for 5 minutes
Infusions: at least 7 times