79

I’m in an adventurous mood, so I’m going to try a tea I bought on a whim and am most likely not going to like. Yep, it’s my second experience with the dreaded puer!! Dun dun DUN!

Just from reading the label, it’s already a new experience for me. You’re supposed to steep 4 grams in 4 oz. of boiling water for 3-5 seconds. And you get 20+ infusions??! Wow. Okay, here goes nothing.

First, the aroma. Leather. It smells exactly like leather. I like wearing leather and smelling leather but drinking leather? Hmm. First sip is…surprising. I do taste leather but there’s a lot more going on too. It’s very complex. Naturally sweet and a tad spicy. Aromatic and interesting. Wow!! Maybe I can enjoy puer?

I’d never be able to go 20+ infusions if I drank the whole cup each time, so I’m going to take a few sips, pour it out, and then move on to the next steep. Please forgive this blasphemous behavior. I can tell from that first cup alone that this is a high quality tea that any puer enthusiast would drool over. Lucky for this tea, I just set up a swap with someone who does like puer. So, the rest of this ½ ounce sample will go to the loving home of Shmiracles!! :)

Anyway, back to the mission at hand. Here are my thoughts from my inexperienced tongue:

1st steep: As described above, but also with a bit of something akin to dry autumn grassiness. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a high quality green; something like Organic Dragon Tip.

2nd steep: Wow! Burned my mouth. That’s HOT! Anyway, the leather is a little more enjoyable now and not so horse saddle-like. The grassiness/vegetal flavor is more pronounced now as well and reminds me of buttery vegetables. I had to read the description for more ideas of how to describe this unique flavor. I definitely get the association with oak. It is oak-y.

3rd steep: Leather is continuing to fade and is being replaced by a floral oak-y-ness and buttery vegetables. This is the first steep that I detected floral notes. This infusion also has a great umami!! Buttery and silky smooth. My favorite mouthfeel and flavor so far.

4th steep: At this point, the buds are open. Leather is almost completely gone now. Floral oak is the most prominent flavor now. It still has that buttery vegetable aftertaste too. This is becoming more and more drinkable for me! I can say that I’m actually enjoying it!

5th steep: Floral oak. Buttery vegetable. And some unidentifiable puer-ness that distinguishes itself as definitely not a green tea, despite the similarities I’m finding. After this cup, my teapot ran out of hot water. So, I had to wait while I boiled more.

6th steep: Same as 5 above but maybe a tad lighter on flavor. Very enjoyable.

7th steep: Went with a little longer steep this time. About 15 seconds. A tad more spiciness is apparent, matching what I tasted in that first cup.

I’m getting a little bored now though, so I think I’ll call it quits here. Although I’m rating it a 79, I’d probably rate it a 100 if I actually liked puer. A 79 from me is extremely high considering that my only other puer experience gathered a whopping 25 and was thrown out after a couple sips. No re-steeps there. So, don’t mistake me; I’m giving this one high praise!!

I have the 2012 variety by the way. Also, the liquor was extremely light yellow the entire time for me. It never reached that light brown color as pictured. But I did use very short steeps. Another thing to note, it’s really hard not to burn your mouth in between steeps. How do you puer drinkers do it? I don’t have a gaiwan, so I just used my regular stainless steel infuser basket and 8 ounce owl mug (although I was careful to only fill it up halfway each time).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
TeaBrat

I usually get bored after 3 infusions, which is bad of me I know!

Kittenna

Yep… I don’t usually want more than three cups of a tea before I’m done with it too, expensive pu’erh or not…

Fjellrev

I’m bad at 3+ infusions too. And leather? I can see that being an acquired taste.

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Comments

TeaBrat

I usually get bored after 3 infusions, which is bad of me I know!

Kittenna

Yep… I don’t usually want more than three cups of a tea before I’m done with it too, expensive pu’erh or not…

Fjellrev

I’m bad at 3+ infusions too. And leather? I can see that being an acquired taste.

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Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

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Maryland, USA

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