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79

I am feeling bold and daring today so I decided to give this one a shot. There was a time that I thought I would never try pu-erh – the idea of it was just too scary. But then Steepster(ites) came along and made me brave enough to try it. I’ve tried a handful of different pu-erhs and don’t hate them, but I haven’t found one that I can really get behind (at least, not a cooked one – I’m kind of loving raw ones so far). I keep trying though! I might be out of luck simply because they all have a taste that I end up mentally calling ‘earth syrup’ and it’s just a little too rich/sweet/thick for me to not feel overwhelmed. But again, I keep trying, so I’m apprehensively excited to be trying this one.

The dry leaf is more ‘hay syrup’ smelling than ‘earth syrup’, but after a quick rinse and then some steeping and the earth comes out. No fishy though, which is another pu-erh smell/taste that can be a bit much for me so the lack of fish equals good. There actually might be a little hint of something spicy in the smell, too, but I’m not exactly sure on that.

Okay, I have to say this first steep is promising. Yes, there is some sweet dirt taste going on but it isn’t thick or heavy enough to reach syrup status. Instead, there is a little almost-Yunnan-like tea taste at the beginning of the sip and a little peppery-type like warmth/spiciness left on my tongue after each sip. The damp dirt sweetness hits in the middle of these two flavors and follows through to the end. And while the tip of my tongue is tingling with spice after the sip, the sweetness expands in the middle of my tongue. The post-sip sweetness is almost into syrup territory thickness but not quite.

Amazingly, I finished off my cup and wasn’t too pu-erh-ed out to avoid more steeping! Second Steep (4:00) is sweet and smooth and edges a bit more towards earth syrup but still doesn’t feel too heavy. I’m thinking the peppery warmth has increased a bit but that could be residual lunch after-spice (but I don’t think so since sipping seems to increase it).

And I’m still up for another steep, so Steep Three (5:00)! It actually tastes a lot like the last steep. Smooth, earthy sweet but not heavy enough to be syrupy. Not as much depth of flavor as steep one and I’m not getting so much of the hint of spicy, but it’s still good.

Fourth Steep (6:00)! Mild, sweet but a little lighter/thinner than the last two steeps and more closely matching the first steep (but without the pepper tingle).

Honestly, I wouldn’t be adverse to taking this tea a bit farther (which is kind of amazing since it is a pu-erh and usually I’m done pretty early in the resteeping process) but I just finished a HUGE blog post about my Hawaii trip (http://pinkness.danzimmermann.com/2010/10/mia-ness-over.html) so I feel the need to celebrate and relax with something green so I’m going to call this tea done. I’m also going to leave this unrated for a little contemplation time. The fact that this never hit earth syrup is huge for me so I actually can say that this is a cooked pu-erh I really like. Shocking, I know. But now the question is: how much do I like this? Will I start craving it’s slightly lighter pu-erh profile? Is this enjoyable enough to break through my anti-cooked-pu-erh mindset to where I would actually buy it? That’s what I need to figure out so no rating for now, but it’s definitely a 75 or over.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

I have to confess I’m baffled by this whole pu-erh → sweetness thing. But if that’s what you’re getting, that’s what you’re getting.

Not coincidence that pu-erh would share notes with Yunan since that’s where pu-erh is made.

Given how short your steeps are, you could definitely take this tea a lot farther, I think, and keep getting good cups. Everyone says I’m insane, I know, but I steep pu-erhs for tens of minutes at a time with great results. With these short steep times, I’m sure you can get at least a half dozen cups from one set of leaves.

Angrboda

That’s totally not your face in my head! That looked lovely though, especially the aquarium. I love places like that. And zoos. :D

It’s weird that we’re taste twins in almost every other sort of tea except pu-erh. I can’t get over that, really. My brain won’t accept it. (And I suddenly remember I forgot to order a green pu-erh sample when I was shopping at NBT the other day. I knew there was something I’d forgotten. Four green japanese though.)

Auggy

Jim – I’m sure I could too as I have before. I just chose not to on this one because I was ready for something else. As for the sweetness, for me pu-erh like a cane or other very dark syrup, just dirt flavored.

Angrboda – Dare I ask what I look like in your head? :) And I’m really trying to learn to love pu-erh so maybe one day when my taste buds grow up, we’ll have matching tastes in that, too! :D

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Comments

Jim Marks

I have to confess I’m baffled by this whole pu-erh → sweetness thing. But if that’s what you’re getting, that’s what you’re getting.

Not coincidence that pu-erh would share notes with Yunan since that’s where pu-erh is made.

Given how short your steeps are, you could definitely take this tea a lot farther, I think, and keep getting good cups. Everyone says I’m insane, I know, but I steep pu-erhs for tens of minutes at a time with great results. With these short steep times, I’m sure you can get at least a half dozen cups from one set of leaves.

Angrboda

That’s totally not your face in my head! That looked lovely though, especially the aquarium. I love places like that. And zoos. :D

It’s weird that we’re taste twins in almost every other sort of tea except pu-erh. I can’t get over that, really. My brain won’t accept it. (And I suddenly remember I forgot to order a green pu-erh sample when I was shopping at NBT the other day. I knew there was something I’d forgotten. Four green japanese though.)

Auggy

Jim – I’m sure I could too as I have before. I just chose not to on this one because I was ready for something else. As for the sweetness, for me pu-erh like a cane or other very dark syrup, just dirt flavored.

Angrboda – Dare I ask what I look like in your head? :) And I’m really trying to learn to love pu-erh so maybe one day when my taste buds grow up, we’ll have matching tastes in that, too! :D

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Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

Location

Texas

Website

http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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