Liji Pu’er : Artisan Tea For The New Year

Are you looking to broaden your horizons when it comes to tea in the New Year? If so, read on!

Today, we’re excited to share about our artisan Liji Pu’er Tea Collection, which is handcrafted by the tea masters of the Liji Gu Zhuang tradition in Jinggu, a small town in Yunnan Province of China.

raw cake copy

Our 2013 liji pu’er cake

Wei was introduced to the Liji brand of pu’er tea during a trip to Beijing in 2005. Impressed by its smoothness, depth and dimension, she was determined to meet the master behind the tea. In 2012, this desire became a reality and Wei traveled to Jinggu to meet Master Li. Soon after, Aroyga proudly became the exclusive distributor of this prestigious and nourishing tea in the United States. In fact, we’re the only tea company in US to have partnered with a traditional tea master in Yunnan, where all pu’er tea is grown.

Wei and Liji

Wei with Master Li in 2012

Master Li comes from a long lineage of pu’er artisans; in fact his great-grandfather carried the family’s tea along the trade route between Yunnan and Tibet around 1900. Though the Cultural Revolution caused a time of disruption for the family business, Master Li, who learned the art of tea making from his grandfather, was able to reestablish it in 2005.

Yunnan is the southwestern most province in China, as well as one of the most biologically and culturally diverse. Located on the far eastern edge of the Himalayan uplift, the land is mountainous and the climate temperate, making it ideal for tea. In fact, what’s believed to be the world’s oldest living tea tree, which is over 2,700 years old, is located there. Pu’er tea is derived from the area’s indigenous broad leaf variety of the tea plant, camellia sinensis. These larger, tender leaves are essential for the complex notes found in a good cup of pu’er.

old liji

Master Li’s great-grandfather

They are also essential for the process of fermentation to occur, something that makes pu’er unique from all other teas. The leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidization after they are sun dried and rolled. This gives the tea a distinct flavor

and texture and also produces a different chemical makeup of the resulting brewed liquor, subsequently enhancing health benefits. Something else that adds to the flavor and value of our Liji pu’er is that it’s plucked from old wild tea trees as opposed to manicured plantation bushes. In addition to deepening the flavor notes, wild tea harvesting is a far more sustainable practice. Therefore, by investing in wild grown pu’er like Liji, you’re also taking a step to protect against the growing threat of deforestation in Yunnan.

wei at tree

Wei plucking leaves from a very old wild tea tree.

 

 

As mentioned, the fermentation process gives pu’er even more health benefits than regular tea. Why?

Read more next week about how sipping pu’er can help with circulation, weight loss, cholesterol management, detoxification, kicking that coffee habit and more!