If there is one type of tea that could be described as being in “confinement”, which is our term for “lockdown” or “shelter in place” here in France, it is shade-grown teas. The best known of these is Pu Erh.
These teas generally go into confinement by being shaded for one to two months, although it can be longer. And when it comes to “deconfinement”, when you lift off the covers under which the harvested leaves have been gently fermenting, you are greeted with wonderful, powerful bouquets. In the cup, these teas develop magnificent aromas of undergrowth, cellars, mushrooms, sought-after animal notes that often evoke stables, and spices. Here’s to your “deconfinement”, whenever that may be.