My package from Verdant Tea finally arrived yesterday and I was able to taste my first pu’erh. My longer review with photographs is in my blog:
I didn’t know what to expect… Knowing all I know about pu’erh and reading other peoples reactions to pu’erh I was prepared for all: the good, the bad and the ugly. It turns out I was only faced with good.
In the package the tea smelled very mildly and a bit sweet. The leaves were big, bunched up together and very dark.
I steeped it according to Verdant Tea website for Western Brewing: Rinsed the leaves at 208F, then steeped for 3 min at 205F. Resulting liquid was dark reddish brown and very clear. It smelled of woods and mushrooms and pine. As a matter of fact, I got an instantaneous flashback of the mushroom picking trips with my grandpa as a child. The taste was mild, full bodied with that woody, earthy flavor. There was even, ever so mild astringency building up on the back of the tongue towards the end of the sip, but which disappeared when the sip was over.
It was getting really late at night so I only re-steeped it once more. Once again at 205F for 3 minutes. I was shocked to find out that the tea was actually darker and stronger with this second steep. Still full bodied with a wonderful earthy flavor. Next time I will definitely start this a bit earlier in the day so I can steep until the flavor runs out.
All in all I really enjoyed this tea and I’m glad to be in the club of people that drink pu’erh! Now I have to try sheng and compare the two. :D
Edited to add: I almost forgot!! While I was sitting and enjoying the cup, all of a sudden I got a head rush. I’ve heard about pu’erh doing this to people but I totally forgot and it took me by surprise. It was mild, but I definitely felt like I was on something… lol