About the Tea:
Try 'POLYCRYSTAL' today!
We present to you a thousand refractions of shade and sunlight; 'Polycrystal', a 'yueguangbai' or 'Moonlight White' tea from Yunnan. A high proportion of buds gives a pointy-ended fragrance and mouthfeel, as well as a little bit of extra stimulant potency (the youngest leaves of the tea plant contain the most caffeine). Dried in the dark over a couple of days, leading to a subtle amount of oxidisation, as seen in the characteristic black leaves, and accompanying amber coloured liquor full of sweetness and punchy fragrance.
Please note that there is a small error on the back of the label; where the Chinese regulatory information is listed, the name was printed incorrectly as 'Dark Red' rather than 'Polycrystal'.
Seriously. Don’t think about it. Don’t hesitate. Just drink it.
Pressed in November 2020.
About Puer Tea:
Puer tea, also called 'puerh' or 'pu-erh', is a category of tea that comes from Yunnan province, China. Think of it as a style, alongside white, green, black etc. There are two main kinds of puer tea, raw puer (also called sheng), and ripe puer (also called 'shu', 'shou', or 'cooked').
Raw puer is similar to a strong green tea, generally with some upfront bitter flavours that transform into a sweet aftertaste. Raw puer can be stored and aged for long periods of time, slowly transforming 'green' flavours into more smooth, dark and 'aged' flavours; think wood, incense, dark sugar.
Ripe puer is made by taking loose raw puer leaves, and fermenting them in a big pile over a period of weeks. The fermentation turns the tea very dark, and also very smooth, removing all bitterness. Ripe puer tends to have earthy, woody, rich flavours and a very smooth, thick texture.
"We are a small tea company, based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. We specialise in Chinese tea, especially puer tea, and produce our own range of teas each season, from material we source in the tea mountains of Yunnan.
KUURA is primarily the passion project of one individual, created as a natural progression of excessive consumption of puer tea. All 'businessess' exist for a reason, usually to create profits. For sure, this company exists as a way to earn a livelihood, but the primary directive is to find and secure teas that we personally want to drink. The selling and sharing is because, like everyone else, we are held hostage by capitalism, and the constant need to pay rent, eat food, and go about our life. We long for a day where we can just share and drink tea in free association, and not have to sell it. For now, we too must be bastards and try to sell you products, to keep the machine going. Sorry about that."
KUURA travel in-person directly to China, usually twice a year, for the spring and autumn tea season in Yunnan. Whilst there, they spend several weeks in the tea mountains, visiting farmers & producers, inspecting tea forests and gardens, sampling and testing tea, and purchasing material. The final stage of the season is spent organising most of their teas to be pressed, wrapped, and packaged, before being shipped from Yunnan all the way to their warehouse in Australia. Many people are involved in this process, and it is a lot of work; it wouldn't be right to not acknowledge that this all wouldn't be possible without the help and labour of many friends and workers.
KUURA often get asked if their tea is 'direct trade', or if they 'pay the farmers a fair price'. If you are used to these terms applying from other commodities, like coffee, or tea from places like India, it's understandable why you might ask. Tea in China is not so much a commodity as a luxury good, and it is a free market. There is no central 'auction' system, and therefore no set commodity price or futures trading. The price they pay to a farmer for their tea depends on what the farmer and the market at large thinks the tea is worth. This price varies drastically depending on factors such as the quality, scarcity, and demand for the tea.
The most common unit they deal with is an individual or family who owns tea producing land and works it themselves (or with hired labour), selling direct to tea traders in the mountains. They generally do not buy tea from markets, factories, or companies.
It's also important to note that the 'Western' tea market is a drop in the ocean for most Chinese tea producers, as they rarely produce tea for export, but rather for internal consumption. People within China are usually willing to pay more for quality tea than foreign consumers.