Thanks to Misty Peak Teas for a sample, from a pu’erh novice!

Review is based on infusions 1-7. Prepared with a gaiwan. Rinsed after 10 seconds. First infusion lasted 10 seconds; the second, 15; subsequent infusion times increased by three seconds.

I would have liked to experience the aroma of the dry leaf; it unfortunately faded while the tea traveled in the mail, but through inhaling deeply I was able to smell earth and minerals. The wet leaf’s aroma strengthened as the leaves (whose color ranged from dark green to brown) continued to unfold with each infusion. A combination of musk and meat had emerged.

The liquor was consistently a clear pastel yellow.

The flavor was medium-bodied, flavorful, soft and smooth. Infusions 1-3 were sour and astringent. After swallowing, I felt a prickly sensation on my tongue, and the aftertaste was slightly spicy. The spiciness began disappearing after the fourth infusion and completely faded away during the sixth. By the seventh infusion, the flavor was totally musky and forest-like with a hint of apricot (and still a bit prickly and astringent).

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I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about the history, the manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

My favorite teas are Japanese greens, and my favorite herbal tisanes are peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum. I’m beginning to get into Wuyi oolongs and Chinese blacks, and am always open to exploring African teas. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. (Hibiscus, you’re alright if you’re cold.)

I’m an MFA graduate (nonfiction writing, specifically about nature), and an amateur birder as well as a tea enthusiast. I also like exercising, Tolkien, and Ancient Egypt (for the time being).

How I rate (I’m so used to the American grade system…….):

96-100 I absolutely adore everything about it. One of my absolute favorites. Like ambrosia!!

90-95 Superb quality and very enjoyable.

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not bad, but not terribly good.

0-59 NOPE.

If there is no rating – I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea goes beyond rating.

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Westchester, NY

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