Oh, so this is pu-erh. I just realised that I haven’t had it before, and that I probably should’ve tried this before drinking Golden Moon’s Pu-erh Chai1. After tasting this, I have a much better understanding of all the different flavours swirling around in that pu-erh chai.
I didn’t know what to expect here, but the packet says “earthy.” From the dry leaves what I got is a fragrance that I’d describe as more fruity than earthy. The tea itself is a different story: I definitely got earthy from the first whiff, but upon exhaling and inhaling again, my first thought was, “sandalwood.” Sandalwood! I am mad about sandalwood. I have incense. I have soap. I have talcum powder. And I’m very, very picky about my sandalwood, too, much like I am about my rose2. And what I got from this tea was the hint of some really lovely sandalwood.
These earthy, incense-y, sandalwood-y, very slightly smoky traits all carried over from the fragrance to the flavour, and the end result is really nice. If this is what pu-erh is usually like, I’m a fan. I quite like its flavour and find it second only to rooibos (my favourite since I first tried it in 2009).