This was my first attempt at a Pu-Erh, to start I love black tea’s and the idea of a fermented aged black tea more then appealed to me, I went into this thinking it was just an…extra-black black tea, and while it is by far the darkest tea I have ever seen, extra-black certainly dose it no justice.
The little brick itself is certainly a bit intimidating even if its only the size of a nickel, the leaves a very compressed of course and pitch black, it has a very earthy smell, like old hay, I dropped it into a flush in-mug infuser with boiling water over the top and it quickly started to break apart.
The tea seems to steep very quickly, you can actually watch it bleed into the water as if you dropped in a slow dye (If you have a glass pot or mug to steep in do it), boiling water for three minutes seemed to be more then adequate, I’d say it actually might have been a bit too much but there was not bitterness at all, I’ve read the fermentation process makes pu-erh very resistant to oversteeping, which is good because I’m pretty negligent about my timing in the morning. The little brick seems to contain an extraordinary amount of leaves, easily five or six times its volume in heavy wet earthy smelling happiness comes out.
The flavor itself is distinct, no pu-erh fishiness at all, the taste is far smoother, far more distinct and delicate then the very dark color would suggest, most of the reviews say that there is a leather taste, and I agree although I think I lack the words to describe it properly it’s a very earthy taste.
Tl;dr: The Pu-erh Mini Toucha from Teavivre is a distinctly delicious, easy to make Pu-erh tea, that from my first experience doing a Pu-Erh is as amusing to steep as it is to taste.