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Well this is my 2nd attempt at Pu Erh. My 1st was adagio’s pu erh dante which was absolutely vile. But ya know… something just dawned on me. It’s almost exactly a year since that experience. I made my 1st online tea purchase, which was w/ Adagio, on Dec. 28th of 2008 and that (along w/ white cucumber which is now one of my faves) was one of them. Although I have to be careful to not analyze this analogy too much cuz then I start thinking about howe my life has changed since then and I get depressed.

Anyway, this is the 1st Numi tea I’ve had so I can’t tell you too much about them beyond what my observations for this particular bag will be. Yes, bag. Now I’m not a fan of bagged tea so bagged pu erh worries me even more. I’m also surpised the front of the bag uses “velvety and vanilla” to describe a chocolate pu erh.

Ingredients: organic Pu Erh, organic cocoa powder, organic vanilla, organic Theo chocolate cocoa nibs, organic rooibos, organic orange peel, organic nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Wow… the ingredients surprise me. This isn’t just a chocolate pu erh, this is more of a chocoalte chai/spice pu erh. Not what I was expecting, but it sounds good! I also love that all of the ingredients except for the cinnamon are organic. I’ve never heard of Theo chocolate before though. As if I couldn’t be more worried, they throw rooibos in here! I’m desperate to learn to love rooibos because it’s so healthy, but I just can’t seem to.

I open the bag and smell it. While I can smell the complexity and depth of the chocolate and pu erh, the only ingredient I can specifiically smell is the nutmeg. Not a bad thing, just interesting.

The odd thing about the steeping directions is they don’t tell you how much water to use. They don’t even use the vague term of a “cup”. So I weigh it. I would have anyway because I’m learning a lot of bagged teas are incredibly light. Wow! 2.5g! I’m impressed! It’s between the weight I prefer for a 6oz cup (2.25oz) and an 8oz cup (3g) so I decide to steep it as an 8oz cup for the higher suggested time of 5 min. (It suggests 3-5). I also steeped it just under boiling (205-210) instead of at boiling because I don’t want to kill the health benefits. I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference.

The liquor is one of the darkest I’ve seen. Easily mistakable for black coffee. And that’s what it smells like. It smells like a chocolate chai steeped in black coffee. Sweet, spicy, rich, creamy, decedant, and very complex. After a quick stir, I take a sip. I have never been so glad for a tea to taste exactly the way it smells! I LOVE THIS! And pu erh is supposed to help you metabolize fat? this seems like it should add it!

For you to fully grasp what’s going on in my head, you need to understand that not only was I terrified of pu erhs, but aside from chais I don’t care for black teas in general. Normally I say who I think would like a certain tea, but this time I think I’m going to say who I think won’t like this because the list is much shorter. I think the only person that would not like this would be a person who doesn’t like coffee or chocolate.

Serving Suggestion: While this is wonderful on it’s own, this tea would make a wonderful latte steeped in a ratio of 2 parts milk to 1 part water or steeped completely in milk as an adult version of hot chocolate. 1TB of white chocolate creamer instead of milk would also be divine.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Carolyn

I’m so glad you liked it! And I’m glad you were brave enough to give it another try. Very nice, thorough review.

Cofftea

2nd steep. I increased the steeping time by 1 min like I normally do, but cut back on the water by 2oz and I’m glad I did. Inspite of the adjustments, the liquor was lighter than I expected. I added 1TB of white chocolate creamer… which oldly enough gives my cuppa a very slight pink hue… strange. While I wish the tea was stronger this infusion I can still taste it. Not as good as I was hoping, but I think white chocolate creamer would be a great addition to a 1st infusion.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, me too! But I was most impressed w/ the bag weight. I can’t wait to get this in loose leaf so I can have my prefered 2.25g/6oz.

Cofftea

Blending ideas: Teavana’s Strawberry Slender pu erh, or Rishi’s Vanilla mint. I haven’t tried either one, but based on my success w/ this one I can’t wait to try blending it w/ other pu erhs.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Good review. I’ve never had pu-erh but this one sounds yum.

Meg

mmm, yummy! Theo chocolates are a local artisan chocolate from here in Seattle, and they are just to die for. The small factory in town gives tours. http://www.theochocolate.com/ I went there when they first opened and had some amazing chocolates. My favorite was the one with green tea (it was probably matcha) inside, and the lavendar-hinted “earl Grey” chocolate. Dunno if they still have those flavors, but their dark bars are divine and worth the 3 or 4$ each.

Cofftea

Seattle connection, extra score!

sophistre

The pu erh dante sample I have scares the heck out of me, to be honest. It smells like livestock to me for some reason…whoof. This sounds fantastic though! I guess you’ll have to change some of your info on your profile now, hee. ^^

fcmonroe

I’m glad that you tried a different pu erh. Maybe the one you tried from Adagio is just not a good pu erh?

Cofftea

Yeah… um… sophistre… I just gotta tell you for the sake of honesty… that VILE pu erh… pu erh dante…

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Comments

Carolyn

I’m so glad you liked it! And I’m glad you were brave enough to give it another try. Very nice, thorough review.

Cofftea

2nd steep. I increased the steeping time by 1 min like I normally do, but cut back on the water by 2oz and I’m glad I did. Inspite of the adjustments, the liquor was lighter than I expected. I added 1TB of white chocolate creamer… which oldly enough gives my cuppa a very slight pink hue… strange. While I wish the tea was stronger this infusion I can still taste it. Not as good as I was hoping, but I think white chocolate creamer would be a great addition to a 1st infusion.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, me too! But I was most impressed w/ the bag weight. I can’t wait to get this in loose leaf so I can have my prefered 2.25g/6oz.

Cofftea

Blending ideas: Teavana’s Strawberry Slender pu erh, or Rishi’s Vanilla mint. I haven’t tried either one, but based on my success w/ this one I can’t wait to try blending it w/ other pu erhs.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Good review. I’ve never had pu-erh but this one sounds yum.

Meg

mmm, yummy! Theo chocolates are a local artisan chocolate from here in Seattle, and they are just to die for. The small factory in town gives tours. http://www.theochocolate.com/ I went there when they first opened and had some amazing chocolates. My favorite was the one with green tea (it was probably matcha) inside, and the lavendar-hinted “earl Grey” chocolate. Dunno if they still have those flavors, but their dark bars are divine and worth the 3 or 4$ each.

Cofftea

Seattle connection, extra score!

sophistre

The pu erh dante sample I have scares the heck out of me, to be honest. It smells like livestock to me for some reason…whoof. This sounds fantastic though! I guess you’ll have to change some of your info on your profile now, hee. ^^

fcmonroe

I’m glad that you tried a different pu erh. Maybe the one you tried from Adagio is just not a good pu erh?

Cofftea

Yeah… um… sophistre… I just gotta tell you for the sake of honesty… that VILE pu erh… pu erh dante…

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Bio

Are you a company or tea blender on sites like Adagio that would you like your tea reviewed? If so, please e-mail me @ [email protected].

What I most enjoy from obtaining samples from companies to review is that it helps me to better learn to drink and review teas from a more objective perspective, meaning more of the “This tea is…” point of view rather than the “I like/don’t like” this tea. I feel objectivism in tea reviews is EXTREMELY important because no two tea drinkers tastes are exactly the same. I’ve also been extremely surprised by several teas. I love recieving a sample I think I will be only writing an objective review on, only to completely fall in love with it upon tasting it.

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Are you interested in redoing or starting your own tea related website or adding Search Engine Optimization? If so, please contact me at my work e-mail address: [email protected]
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Tea tastes:
I will ALWAYS pick loose leaf over tea bags. I only drink bagged tea if that’s my only choice or I find a flavor that I can’t find a loose leaf version for. When I do drink bagged; however, I always weigh my bag and am constantly curious as to the weight/flavor ratio- sometimes I am quite surprised by the flavor punch of light bags.

I have a preference for organic and fair trade teas (preferably both), but would never pass up an amzing tea just because it isn’t organic and/or fair trade.

I love savory teas.

I’m currently searching for a chai flavored soy powder or a soy based chai mix (either already mixed or a recipe).

I hardly EVER sweeten my teas. I feel that sweeteners (unless flavored like tea honeys, brown sugar, ice cream topping syrups, flavored coffee syrups, etc) do not add anything to the flavor profile of tea- in fact, I’ve found that they dumb down the flavors.

I NEVER serve my tea over regular iced cubes- I always make tea cubes.

I LOVE cooking w/ tea and making smoothTEAS.

I LOVE tea blending.

I rarely drink herbal teas unless they are mixed with true teas. My favorite herbals to mix with true teas are: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, rose hips, and gingeroot.

I can’t stand anything w/ fennel or anise. Hot black teas (except orange pekoe bagged tea that you get when you go out to eat and chai teas) tend to upset my stomach.

I drink matcha daily and love flavoring it. I’m also in a constant search of preflavored matchas.

I’m constantly searching for information on how to prepare tea authentically according to its country of origin.

My Tasting Notes Ratings (edited 8/8/10)
1: I can’t even stand the raw leaf enough to make this (I’ve never owned a tea w/ this rating, but I’ve smelled some before buying resulting in me NOT buying them that were that bad)

2: I steeped this tea but couldn’t stand the aroma enough to get it past my nose

3: I immediately gagged at the 1st sip and spit it out.

4: I manageed to get the 1st sip down, but I tossed the rest.

5: I drank the 1st cup but I can’t bring myself to resteep

6: Made it thru the entire set of infusions but I can’t bring myself to tinker w/ the parameters and won’t be making it again.

7-10: Does not taste anything like the ingredients or name suggests (i.e. Adagio’s Sour apple)

11-25: I can taste some of the ingredients, but the flavor is severely lacking

25-49: Teas that I would not consider bad in their flavor profile, but certainly below average

50: Average.

51-69: Teas above averge, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them “good”.

70-75: Very good, but still room for improvement

76-85: Above average flavor profile

86-90: REALLY good flavors

91-99: Almost PERFECTLY achieves the goal of the ingredients and name of the tea.

100: Abosolutely perfect teas!

Other Interests: GOD! and all things pertaining to Him and His children, my dog Madison, travelling, and coffee.

Favorite Music: ANYTHING Christian. I don’t normally listen to secular music, but I do love jazz and swing.

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies mostly. My Sister’s Keeper, P.S. I Love You, Fireproof, National Treasure Trilogy (I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE 3rd ONE TO COME OUT!), Night at the Museum 1 & 2, Sister Act 1 & 2, Yes Man, Bruce & Evan Almighty, rarely watch animated movies but LOVE anything 3D.

Favorite Books: THE BIBLE!!! & My Sister’s Keeper

Favorite Quotes: “A sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ”- John Stienbeck "

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Aristotle

“You should always carry burdens, but they should never be your own”- me

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Mom was right, ‘because I say so’ is enough- at least when it comes to God.”- me

Favorite Foods: fried calamari, lemon chicken, anything w/ buffalo sauce.

Favorite Places: WA state, Switzerland, Orlando

Places I Want to Visit: Hawaii, Africa

Anything Else: I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which is the failure of the spinal column to close en utero. Because of this I am a parapelegic and use a manual wheelchair.

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