MADE-FOR-TV is a sheng (“raw”) pu’er tea from Yibang shan (shan = mountain), Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, China, pressed in summer 2023 from material harvested in spring 2020. Like last year's RAWISM, fresh spring growth from trees spanning 100-200 years of age was hand-plucked, sun-dried, pan-fried to partially fix, hand-rolled into strips, sun-dried again, and then rested for 2 years before being pressed for us in 2022. This sheng presents an interesting opportunity in terroir study, as the tea all comes from a few villages settled around Yibang, and gives a clear expression of this mountain’s character. Unlike most Yiwu area teas, Yibang tea brings a healthy undertow of stout bitterness and punchy strength to the table, a telltale sign of excellent aging potential.
Yibang shan is one of the 6 “old” tea mountains east of the Lancang river in Xishaungbanna. Yibang is loosely thought of as “Yiwu” area tea (also the name for a specific mountain in the region), and carries the classic sweetness of this region, but with a backbone of complex florals and tannic dryness. Expect layers of fruit peel and orange wine when steeped small-format, and a high-octane experience grandpa’d. This tea brings a distinct body sensation second only to our house huangpian; steep with care.