Now, here’s one from the Basket that I do remember where came from. It was included in the Big Box O’ Tea that Pamela Dax Dean sent to me a while ago. (I’m still not even remotely close to having got through that box yet). As it is in the category of the ‘Rather Special’ I have been saving it for a special occasion. ‘Special occasion’ as apparently synonymous with ‘having survived another Ikea trip by bus and in the rain’.
I wasn’t sure how to brew it; whether to take the leaves out of the mandarin or steep the whole thing as it was. I opted for the latter. Then there was the issue of steep time. Since the leaves were all inside the mandarin and didn’t fall out when the water was poured on as I thought they would, I was uncertain about the steeping time and decided to give it plenty. Pu-erh doesn’t really, in my experience, become easily oversteeped to undrinkableness, so I felt confident in doing so, and as I thought, it worked out well.
I did think, though, that it would be a lot more orange-y in flavour. Or mandarin-y if you will. Citrus-y at any rate. It does have some, but it’s mostly just the pu-erh. Maybe I’m too used to the orange pu-erh from Nothing But Tea which is a Standard Panel tea, but I really was expecting more fruit.
Surprised at how well the tea flavour came out through the mandarin peel though. It’s a quite good pu-erh, if somewhat generic. It’s nice but not really anything outstanding.
The boyfriend was in favour of this cup as well. I think I should find another pu-erh for the Standard Panel for him.
So a good but fairly generic tasting pu-erh is worth some 80 points or so, I think. The fact that it’s inside a citrus fruit adds another few points as those two flavours go well together, even if there isn’t a lot of the fruity flavour. Finally, the over all experience of brewing this, the uniqueness of the presentation (unique for me anyway, I know it’s not completely unheard of) and the specialness of it are also worth something on the score.
I was thinking around 90 points was a fair score for it, and look, that’s exactly where it ended up. That was not adjusted afterwards!