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Seeing the Canton Tea Co special offer today inspired me to have some pu-erh this morning. This time I gave the tuocha a quick rinse in hot water first, which puffs it up and helps it start to give off an aroma – the dry cake is almost odorless.

First steep at 90 seconds, and I’ve got myself a powerful cup! It is dark and soupy and full of earth and dry leaves. A bit of bitterness at the back end, but not unpleasant. It tastes like the tea has challenged me to a wrestling match, just to see what I’ve got. Bring it on, I say!

Second steep at 90 seconds is much mellower; the bitterness has vanished and now the flavor is wonderfully redolent of a walk in the woods in the middle of autumn. Very, very nice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!

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Washington, DC

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