77
drank Pu Erh Dante by Adagio Teas
1184 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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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

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Bay Area, California

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http://www.jjroth.net

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