Poo Poo Puerh
The first time I ever heard of this tea was at the
Holy Mountain site. It sounded so far fetched that I chalked it up as a myth! Then I was sent a sample of it by a Puerh Collector from Singapore whom I trust to be very knowledgeable. At this point I had to consider that it was indeed real and not a myth! The Collector gave me what little information he had but I wanted to know more so I asked a Puerh vendor over in China what he knew about it. Michael from M & J's Chinese Culture & Arts Store laughed at me, thinking that I was full of s****, but he agreed to ask some of his contacts at the Puerh factories. He came back the next day with a wealth of information, complete with pictures, he was rather astonished to find out it was indeed legitimate. This prompted me to assemble the appropiate aparatus to test the tea myself, thanks to the sample from "WS" the collector. You will find that review at the bottom of the page.
Anyway here are some excerpts from the information he gathered.
The Proper name of this tea in English would be "Grain Moth Tea" it is a Miao Nationality tea from Hunan, China. The moth is the angoumois grain moth, Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier). It is not the moth's excrement we are talking about here. We are talking about the moth's larva excrement. The Larva eats the leaf and then the larva excrement is what is drunk.
Here is a bit, of how it is processed. First fresh tealeaves are placed into a bamboo basket. Next the water from rinsed rice is poured over the leaves; this transfers the moth's eggs to the tea leaves. Next, the basket is placed in a well-ventilated area. A few days later, the grain month Larva will appear and start to eat the tea leaves, soon the basket will be full of Grain Moth Larva. Next about one year later, the larva will have eaten all of the tea leaves. At the bottom of the Bamboo basket will be a full layer of larva poop. Then the poop is strained out and then kept in a jar. When you prepare it, you can pour a small amount into a cup and then pour boiling water over it. At this point, the excrement will slightly dissolve and you will start to notice steaks of red tea juice excreting from each individual piece of excrement. In just a short time, the cup of tea will turn into a dark red tea soup. The flavor is said to be sweet and some good s***!
They actually Farm the Larva now and the puerh is said to be as good as the naturally occurring product. The cultivated variety is nowhere near the price mentioned on the Holy Mountain web site.
This is part of my sample, click on the photo for a closeup view!
So, armed with little more than a curiosity I brewed it up.
6 oz boiling water
4.3g Poo Poo Puerh
Small 6oz espresso cup
Small Chinese Tea Strainer, the kind often used with Gongfu.
Poured boiling water through strainer containing tea, tea steeped for about 20 seconds. Yielded a bright red liquor after a few seconds that rapidly turned to espresso colored black. Aroma was earthy, aquatic like an algae infested small pond, and somewhat metallic like polished brass. Flavor was extremely smooth with a metallic and aquatic tanginess. No hint of the sweetness mentioned above.
2nd SteepPoured boiling water through strainer, tea steeped for about 20 seconds. Color was immediate and as dark as previous. Tea was more mellow than before. Still no hint of sweetness. Metallic notes were fewer.
Poured boiling water through strainer, tea steeped for about 20 seconds. Color was immediate and as dark as previous. Tea was much more mellow than before. Slight hints of sweetness are now becoming evident. Aquatic notes still present but metallic notes are almost gone.
Poured boiling water through strainer, tea steeped for about 20 seconds. Color was immediate and as dark as previous. Tea was much more mellow than before. Hints of sweetness are becoming more evident. Aquatic notes are almost gone.
Poured boiling water through strainer, tea steeped for about 20 seconds. It seemed to never lighten in color through many steeps. Successive steeps got much more mellow, sweeter and less pungent. In my opinion it got better with each steep.