77
drank Pu Erh Dante by Adagio Teas
951 tasting notes

The last of the Black Savant sampler samples.

I followed the directions in Cofftea’s post, as it has been quite a while since I’ve tasted a pu erh. Not sure why exactly, since I do like them, but such is life.

The sample tin smells of the leathery earth smell that I found in some of the unflavored Numi pu erhs. It’s not as complex a fragrance as I recall the Samovar pu erhs having, but it’s been a while since I had any of those, my other pu erh benchmark for now.

The liquor is really interesting on the first short steep after the rinse. Dark red, almost wine like. It has the earthy, mossy smell I associate with pu erhs.

The flavor is surprisingly mild, and I’m wondering if maybe a little longer steep would have made it more interesting even, but I’ll have time to try that later. It strikes me as a very basic, very likely shu pu erh (I’m no expert but this is my guess from what I’ve read) that is similar in flavor to the Numi Emperor’s Pu Erh.

I don’t find anything objectionable here, though those with a predisposition against the earthy, “fishy” flavor may not like this. It’s not fishy to me, but that’s because I tend to taste leather where others seem to taste fish.

That said, it’s not as exciting as the Samovar Pu Erhs, all of which were outstanding in my view. It isn’t a model of complexity as they were, and for something as mysterious as pu erh is to me, complexity seems rather a requirement.

It seems milder and a bit more interesting than the Emperor’s so I’m rating accordingly.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Cofftea

Absolutely a shu. All of Adagio’s Pu Erh are. Their amber Pu Erh from their Maestro collection is still a shu, but a bit lighter and w/ a peppery note. It’s probably my most liked of the 3, but I won’t be buying it again. That one sadly got lost in the 1st TTB- too bad cuz a sample is $9.

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Cofftea

Absolutely a shu. All of Adagio’s Pu Erh are. Their amber Pu Erh from their Maestro collection is still a shu, but a bit lighter and w/ a peppery note. It’s probably my most liked of the 3, but I won’t be buying it again. That one sadly got lost in the 1st TTB- too bad cuz a sample is $9.

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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