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My 1st raw pu erh! Thanks to Carolyn:)

Parameters and Preparation:
>It came in a one cup serving (she gave me 2) and she said to make a 6oz cup, but since it weighs 5g I decided to make a 5oz cup.
>Rinsed it by pouring 5oz just shy of boiling water (Carolyn suggests boiling) over the leaves, letting it sit for 15sec, decanting, then dumping the water.
>1st infusion is 5oz just shy of boiling water steeped for 20 sec (Carolyn suggests boiling again).

Rinse water: I’m shocked at how light this is compared to the rinse water of my cooked pu erh experiences! Looks more like a white tea than the black I compared the cooked pu erh to.

1st infusion: Liquor is nearly identical to the rinse water. The aroma is earthy, but also light and sweet. Looks more like a white or green tea. There’s a lot going on in the flavor… the sweetness that showed up in later infusions of the cooked pu erh is present right away. It doesn’t taste anything like a black tea, more of a green. It’s light and sweet, yet a bit earthy… and even a little bit bitter. It reminds me of Kukicha.

Conclusions: Very different from cooked pu erhs, although I don’t like it any less or more. Just as complex as cooked pu erh even though it’s lighter. If cooked pu erh can be compared to a black tea, this can be compared to a white, green, or green oolong.

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

2nd infusion, 30sec. I’m glad she told me to increase the steeping by 10sec or I wouldn’t have based on her suggestions for cooked pu erh. Since I have another cup’s worth, I think I’ll not increase the steeping time next time and compare the two. This infusion was nearly identical to the 1st except it isn’t bittersweet anymore, just sweet.

Carolyn

I’m so glad you like it. The bitterness is because it is a young puerh. Apparently as the puerhs age they lose their bitterness. I’ve noticed that the younger it is, the more likely it is to be bitter. The American Hao (2009) had a definite bitter bite. The Imperial Concubine has a fruitiness that is superior to the other raw puerhs I’ve tried (except the one I had in Chicago) so that is the one I chose to order a full beeng of.

Cofftea

Warning: Take this infusion’s tasting note w/ a grain of salt as I drank this w/ homemade tomato soup that had a lot of red pepper flake in it… 40sec. Liquor is a bit lighter, but the taste is not. Definitely white tea-ish sweet. Yummy!

sophistre

I love that you’re getting adventurous with this. I’m still a little bit intimidated by these, but I am really loving watching someone else experience it for the first time, because of course the things that intimidate me simultaneously make me very curious!

Cofftea

I’m still shocked that I love adagio’s so well… not because they’re bad, but because they’re comparable to a black tea and other than chai I’m just not a black tea person. All 3 are excellent.

Heyes

What a downright bizarre name for a tea!

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Comments

Cofftea

2nd infusion, 30sec. I’m glad she told me to increase the steeping by 10sec or I wouldn’t have based on her suggestions for cooked pu erh. Since I have another cup’s worth, I think I’ll not increase the steeping time next time and compare the two. This infusion was nearly identical to the 1st except it isn’t bittersweet anymore, just sweet.

Carolyn

I’m so glad you like it. The bitterness is because it is a young puerh. Apparently as the puerhs age they lose their bitterness. I’ve noticed that the younger it is, the more likely it is to be bitter. The American Hao (2009) had a definite bitter bite. The Imperial Concubine has a fruitiness that is superior to the other raw puerhs I’ve tried (except the one I had in Chicago) so that is the one I chose to order a full beeng of.

Cofftea

Warning: Take this infusion’s tasting note w/ a grain of salt as I drank this w/ homemade tomato soup that had a lot of red pepper flake in it… 40sec. Liquor is a bit lighter, but the taste is not. Definitely white tea-ish sweet. Yummy!

sophistre

I love that you’re getting adventurous with this. I’m still a little bit intimidated by these, but I am really loving watching someone else experience it for the first time, because of course the things that intimidate me simultaneously make me very curious!

Cofftea

I’m still shocked that I love adagio’s so well… not because they’re bad, but because they’re comparable to a black tea and other than chai I’m just not a black tea person. All 3 are excellent.

Heyes

What a downright bizarre name for a tea!

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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.

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

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