Thanks so much Azzrian for sending a bit of this along! I was in the mood for a pu-erh and this is the first tea I was able to try in my new Bodum YoYo infuser and mug! I have no idea why it is called “yoyo”. (It matches my vintage Bodum electric kettle!) The mug is clear so I have a nice view of the steep color. This one has the color of a draft of beer! So I’m not sure how much caffeine pu-erh has if the color is so light. (I’m assuming the darker the steep color, the more caffeine it has? I don’t know.) I like this mug though.. it’s either because the bottom of the mug is slanted or because the mug is clear, that when I’m sipping it, it looks like the mug has less tea in it than it actually does. I get a bit sad, but when I set it down, I can see that there IS a ton of tea left in the cup!
All of these steeps were for two minutes after two 10 second rinses (not sure if I’m doing that right!) Autumn is what the tea reminds me of. The leaves look like autumn leaves. The fragrance is smokey, like there is a burning pile of leaves in the yard. I wouldn’t guess that this is a pu-erh, because it doesn’t have that typical pu-erh flavor profile. It kind of seems like the flavor of tree bark, in the most appetizing way… so I guess you could still call it earthy! The flavor is smokey.. it most reminds me of a russian caravan. The flavor is smooth, silky, woodsy, light, and a tiny bit spicy… The second steep gets even smoother. It’s interesting that pu-erhs have such a wide range of flavor. I pity the fool who doesn’t steep their leaves multiple times. All three steeps were very consistent! I’m sure I could have steeped many more times. But I’M the fool who only used those dipper infusers until now (those I still will, especially for teas like rooibos that don’t need expanding). I knew for a while that the leaves were being strangled… so it was nice to see these leaves breathe. I like this tea! To sum up: it’s an autumn pile of smokey burning leaves and branches. It made me really miss autumn, even though it’s March (well, I miss autumn the first day it snows anyway.) Very unique… but I’m sure all of Verdant’s teas are unique.
Also, I read some of the tasting notes after typing mine up, and it seems I’ve said a lot of the same descriptions that others have. It seems my palate has improved too! Nice!