I’ve been looking forward to trying this sample ever since Ricky said he thought I’d like it since I’d liked Maiden’s Ecstasy.
The little pu erh leaves are so small and cute, like they are with the other Samovar loose pu erhs, and perhaps loose pu erhs in general (my experience isn’t yet broad enough to comment). They’re not a uniform color, they’re gradations of brown from a medium, milk chocolate to a dark, bittersweet chocolate color. They have the deep, dark, leathery smell I have come to associate with pu erh. And something mocha-like, too.
What a gorgeous, dark color this brews to! It’s a deep dark brown, with some red in it. Depending on how the light hits it, it is either very nearly opaque, or darkly translucent. The aroma is gorgeous too. It’s only a little leathery, and not barnyardy, or fishy that I could detect. It reminds me of a savory mushroom soup. Not cream of mushroom. The other kind; the brothy, gravy-esque kind.
The taste is amazing. Again the words deep and dark come to mind. Again, there’s nothing barnyardy or fishy about how this tastes to me. There is some leather, but there is a lot more, too. Earth, moss, coffee, and an interesting mix of other suggestions. On the one hand, gravy. On the other, tree resin. On the other… ok, I realize I don’t have three hands, but if I did, the third would be almost a very dusky, deep, dry cabernet, the kind I don’t generally find palatable. In this tea, though, I like that suggestion. What I don’t like about those kinds of cabs is the abundance of tannin. This, however, is exceptionally smooth.
I think what I must be trying to describe is what ancient trees taste like. Which is awesome to think about.
This is quite lovely. Unlike the other Samovar pu erhs, this is so rich it’s not something I could drink every day. Fortunately, since pu erhs improve with age, I don’t have to worry about it going bad in my cupboard if I limit my indulgence to a sometime thing.