The other day I had tea from 1992 – over 25 years old. No I didn’t find it in the back of the cupboard, and it wasn’t expired either – it was actually delicious!
Pu’er – no, I’m not describe the action of evacuating the contents of a teapot into a cup (‘pour’) and I’m not wrinkling my nose in disgust at mouldy chai. Actually what it is, is ‘aged tea’ or ‘vintage tea’.
Pu’er actually hails from China and takes the name of a town where fermented tea is produced involving the oxidation and microbial fermentation of tea leaves after being dried and rolled. I love tea, but I was not aware of Pu’er.
Anyway I won’t go into the whole details of how, where, why they do this, and delve into the very ancient history of the process – you can just Wiki it, and most of it is covered in the above video by my charming hosts.
What I will tell you, is that at a Lexus car launch yesterday at a venue in Aserkal Avenue in Dubai yesterday, I got to try a tea-sampling station where the perfectly brewed concoctions were delightful and delicious.
But I was really thrown when it was revealed that one of the teas dated back to 1992 and had been fermented for five years!
Admittedly I first sipped it with some trepidation, but in fact it was the best tea there. With a strong and sharp initial jolt, a deep, rich texture rolling in the mouth, and a flavoursome and lingering aftertaste that made it the most satisfying cuppa you’ll have for a while.
And where can you do that? Well obviously not at the Lexus launch, cause that’s already happened, but the guys were actually from Intersect by Lexus – appropriately enough – a boutique restaurant located in Dubai Financial City.
I’ve eaten there and the food is sensational, but if you’re into your tea, then head down there and sample the extraordinary variety of brews. Do not forget to go ‘Pu’er’ too though!