Phou San Mountain Dark is a hand-rolled, young, sheng pu’er-style dark tea grown on Phou San Mountain in the northeastern province of Xiangkhouang, Laos. Like pu’ers from Yunnan, China, this Laotian version is plucked, withered, panned, rolled and dried in the sun, allowing enzymatic and microbiological activities to begin the fermentation process. Under good storage conditions, it will continue to ripen over years, developing complex characteristics. Phou San Mountain Dark is at an early stage in the process and the tea’s taste is characterized by a sweet earthiness reminiscent of honey and stone fruit.
Amount: 2 grams of loose tea per cup of water (a pinch)
Temperature: 185 ̊ - 195 ̊ (Just below a full boil)
Steep time: 30 seconds – 3 minutes
Tip: Rinse the leaves before steeping to "awaken" them.
1. Place the dry leaves in a cup
2. Pour over the hot water and wait 3 - 5 seconds
3. Discard water using a strainer
4. Then steep leaves normally
About Our Tea From Laos
Bordering China’s famous tea-producing Yunnan Province, Laos is a “cradle country” of tea and home to some of the oldest trees in the world. While Laotian tea is superior, conflict throughout the 20th century harmed the industry. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. secretly dropped more bombs on Laos than were dropped during the entirety of World War II. That devastation largely prevented Laotian tea from reaching U.S. consumers for decades. Fortunately, times have changed.
Our Laotian tea comes from Xiangkhouang Province near Phou San (“the tea mountain”) in the northeast and from the Bolaven Plateau in southern Champasak Province—an area known for its stunning waterfalls. All of our teas from Laos are organically grown in biodiverse environments and carefully hand-crafted by selected artisan families.
Love this tea, it has an earthy taste that I really like. I also like the long leaves of this tea.
The first thing to pique my interest in this tea was the appearance of the dry leaf. Some of the longest leaves I have ever seen for tea. It has that fermented taste of a sheng with rich earthy notes. Very smooth mouthfeel. Somewhat bready. A few honey notes, but it's not the sweet honey many know, it's closer to a Manuka honey. The astringency starts to come out past one minute. Reminds me of some Ceylon greens with a slight metallic note. An interesting spicy note happens at 3 mins and above. It's somewhat hard to describe. The wet leaf aroma is a bit fishy with seaweed and fish market notes. The liquor smells of slight miso, umami, and seaweed. With more time I could see this one developing some very interesting complexity.