70
drank Pu Erh Dante by Adagio Teas
865 tasting notes

I am officially, certifiably crazy. I tried this about a year ago, and it’s been one of the VERY few (only?) teas I couldn’t even get past the 1st sip. But I’ve decided to get back into pu erhs again, and I’ve already had major success w/ Numi’s bagged version of their chocolate pu erh. I decided to use some of the frequent cup points I’ve banked to buy this and their pu erh poe so if I don’t like it, I only paid $0.75 to top off shipping. Now since I bought both and already hated this one once, you’d think I’d try the other one 1st. But nope. I want to conquer my fears.

It’s the middle of winter, so the tins were VERY cold. I smelled it right away and was shocked. Last time, the aroma of the raw leaves were that of a septic tank leak and almost made me vomit. But this time, they are much more faint. While there is the deep, complex aroma typical of black teas w/ a hint of earthiness and maybe even a touch of fecality, it’s nothing like I remember.

The preparation is also vastly different this time. Last time I steeped 1tsp (1.88g) in 6oz boiling water for 5 min. This time I went to Carolyn for advice. She suggested using 1g per 1oz water (I made a 4oz cuppa), rinsing the leaves in boiling water for 15sec, then doing a 20sec 1st steep. The only deviation I made from this was that I just just below boiling water for both the rising and the steeping because I wanted to preserve the health benefits.

I’m shocked at how dark the rinsing liquid gets… I almost cry as I dump it. But if adding this step is necessary for authentic preparation and a better cuppa, then that’s what I’ll do.

The 1st infusion is also very dark. Coffeeish. The aroma is like a lot of black teas: deep, complex, and earthy. I take a sip praying my gag reflex won’t kick in. And I’m pleasantly surprised. While it is deep, complex, and earthy just like the aroma… it does not taste like my worst enemy shoved me face 1st into a cow pie!

I am not a black tea person per se, but I am fairly certain that a person who is and prepares this tea using Carolyn’s recommendations will be quite satisfied.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
argus

just a comment that pu-erh is not black tea, its as black as it is oolong. its a fermented tea and a category of its own

Cofftea

Yep, I actually just learned that. Sorry if my post made it seem like I thought it was- I was just comparing it to a black tea.

Cofftea

2nd infusion, 20 sec like last time @ the suggestion of Carolyn. Sometimes it’s hard to compare liquors from one infusion to the next, and this is one of those times. I do know it’s still very dark. The nose has a slightly more fecal point to it, but luckily the taste does not. Maybe even less than the 1st.

Cofftea

3rd infusion, 20 sec again. The only difference is the slight fecal point to the nose is all but gone.

Karsh

I have a Pu Erh cake I got from Ocean of Tea that’s equally as “complex” on every brew.

Cofftea

4th infusion, still 20 sec. More reddish liquor this time and sweeter taste. My favorite infusion so far.

Cofftea

5th infusion, 20 sec. Nearly identical liquor and flavor as infusion number 4.

Peggie Bennett

That pu-erh lasts for soooo many infusions doesn’t it? I am really loving pu-erhs and that rich color. I am always surprised when I infuse again and that color is instantly dark like that. (On a side note, my hair stylist always knows me because I told her I wanted to go dark and she colored my hair a deep brown with red tones in it, I swear it looks like my cup of pu-erh! And she doesn’t even know about the tea!)

Cofftea

6th infusion, 20 sec. Ditto on earlier infusions.

Cofftea

7th infusion, 20 sec. The fecal nose is back, but very light. It isn’t evident in the taste though- it’s still very sweet.

Cofftea

8th infusion, wait for it… 20 sec. No change.

fcmonroe

So glad that you were able to try it again! 8 infusions is a lot!

Cofftea

Not compared to a lot of teas I drink, but w/ others I always increase the steeping time. This one, while having a short steeping time, also uses a lot of leaf.

Carolyn

Glad you liked it! I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to try it again, so good for you!

It is fascinating how different each puerh steeping is. It is a very complex tea.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, actually I’m finding them very a like. What surpises me is that even though I haven’t increased the steeping time, it hasn’t gotten weaker.

Cofftea

9th infusion, 20 sec. As much as I love it’s durability, I’m getting really sick of this- dumping the leaves and calling it a nite.

Ricky

You mustn’t give up!

Cofftea

I’m sick of it so I don’t want to waste tea or my time drinking tea I don’t enjoy anymore. And there’s so much leaf (4g) that I’m afraid it’d rot being wet in my ingenuiTEA all nite.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Nice post and way to go enjoying the puerh.

teabird

Thank you for the detailed steeping notes! I didn’t want to follow the “212 degrees, 5min” posted on the tin, so I came to Steepster hoping for a more thoughtful approach – yours (via Carolyn, I suppose) is perfect!

Cofftea

NOOO that steeping suggestion is a bad one! What’s wrong w/ Adagio?

teabird

Adagio has a generic “Black Tea” label with those instructions :( Apparently they consider Pu-erh black.

Cofftea

Unfortunately a lot of companies do. Their steeping time on their whites and Japanese greens are way off too. I even like most of their oolongs at 3 min over their suggested 5.

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Comments

argus

just a comment that pu-erh is not black tea, its as black as it is oolong. its a fermented tea and a category of its own

Cofftea

Yep, I actually just learned that. Sorry if my post made it seem like I thought it was- I was just comparing it to a black tea.

Cofftea

2nd infusion, 20 sec like last time @ the suggestion of Carolyn. Sometimes it’s hard to compare liquors from one infusion to the next, and this is one of those times. I do know it’s still very dark. The nose has a slightly more fecal point to it, but luckily the taste does not. Maybe even less than the 1st.

Cofftea

3rd infusion, 20 sec again. The only difference is the slight fecal point to the nose is all but gone.

Karsh

I have a Pu Erh cake I got from Ocean of Tea that’s equally as “complex” on every brew.

Cofftea

4th infusion, still 20 sec. More reddish liquor this time and sweeter taste. My favorite infusion so far.

Cofftea

5th infusion, 20 sec. Nearly identical liquor and flavor as infusion number 4.

Peggie Bennett

That pu-erh lasts for soooo many infusions doesn’t it? I am really loving pu-erhs and that rich color. I am always surprised when I infuse again and that color is instantly dark like that. (On a side note, my hair stylist always knows me because I told her I wanted to go dark and she colored my hair a deep brown with red tones in it, I swear it looks like my cup of pu-erh! And she doesn’t even know about the tea!)

Cofftea

6th infusion, 20 sec. Ditto on earlier infusions.

Cofftea

7th infusion, 20 sec. The fecal nose is back, but very light. It isn’t evident in the taste though- it’s still very sweet.

Cofftea

8th infusion, wait for it… 20 sec. No change.

fcmonroe

So glad that you were able to try it again! 8 infusions is a lot!

Cofftea

Not compared to a lot of teas I drink, but w/ others I always increase the steeping time. This one, while having a short steeping time, also uses a lot of leaf.

Carolyn

Glad you liked it! I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to try it again, so good for you!

It is fascinating how different each puerh steeping is. It is a very complex tea.

Cofftea

@Carolyn, actually I’m finding them very a like. What surpises me is that even though I haven’t increased the steeping time, it hasn’t gotten weaker.

Cofftea

9th infusion, 20 sec. As much as I love it’s durability, I’m getting really sick of this- dumping the leaves and calling it a nite.

Ricky

You mustn’t give up!

Cofftea

I’m sick of it so I don’t want to waste tea or my time drinking tea I don’t enjoy anymore. And there’s so much leaf (4g) that I’m afraid it’d rot being wet in my ingenuiTEA all nite.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Nice post and way to go enjoying the puerh.

teabird

Thank you for the detailed steeping notes! I didn’t want to follow the “212 degrees, 5min” posted on the tin, so I came to Steepster hoping for a more thoughtful approach – yours (via Carolyn, I suppose) is perfect!

Cofftea

NOOO that steeping suggestion is a bad one! What’s wrong w/ Adagio?

teabird

Adagio has a generic “Black Tea” label with those instructions :( Apparently they consider Pu-erh black.

Cofftea

Unfortunately a lot of companies do. Their steeping time on their whites and Japanese greens are way off too. I even like most of their oolongs at 3 min over their suggested 5.

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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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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.

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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

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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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