91

Thanks again Indigobloom for this big sample!

This is a young Pu-erh and a prize winner. Hum. That was interesting to find out after tasting the tea. I usually read reviews after I’m finished tasting because I’m easily influenced by the words of others and don’t like that to happen. It’s fun to find out that I’ve discovered the same qualities (either good or bad) on my own, that other more qualified and trained tasters write about.

Before steeping I did a 30 second wash. The steep time was 3 minutes in my glass traditional teapot with stainless basket.

The leaves were the darkest chocolate brown and I picked at them. They looked like long threads of petrified leaves, tea turned into dry wood that was now soaking wet and shiny.
The aroma was promising! Salty, a little musty and scented with crimini mushrooms.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
I could taste the tea in the steam. No disappointment in the first sip. Wow! Nom (as so many Steepsters say) this was super tasty! Very good! Better than I was expecting!
I was salivating from the first mineral juiciness when the tea changed. It turned a corner and became a soft, buttery, salty roasted pecan flavored richness. Really it did. Fantastic taste!

I’m about to preach now! Watch out!

If you never have added sugar or splenda to a Pu-erh…try it! This is something to try because salt and sweet play off each other. Sweet will bring out the flavors in the salty tea. Also, there are people who will never, ever drink straight pu-erh. We all know this. We are not in China and North Americans like sweet stuff. The health benefits of Pu-erh are worth trying a little milk or cream or some sugar (what I use is splenda because I’d be as big as a truck if I used sugar all day) and introduce skeptical friends to a latte.
This is how I am introducing my grandchildren to pu-erh’s. The sweetness creates such a compliment to the aforementioned flavors elevating them in a special way that makes them linger on the palate.

The mildness of this particular pu-erh is just right for those who are queezy when confronted with too much earthiness or mustiness. No old shoes and socks here. No old fellows or grannies (other than myself). A very tasty mild Pu-erh!

Indigobloom

Squeeee! I love that you found pecan!! thanks for putting a name to what I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It’s been buggin’ me lol

TeaBrat

noooo! I never add sugar and Splenda is icky. :)

Bonnie

I’ve talked to another person who is a tea sommelier who adds sugar to salty pu-erhs because it brings out other flavors. I was just doing this naturally because you do this in cooking. Sweet/savory…salty and sweet. The splenda is because when I am drinking so much tea I can’t have too much sugar…sorry, I’ve lost 50LB’s and need to go down another 20! I don’t always add sugar but I am trying to write about tea in a way that will address how other people drink it. I especially would like my family and friends not to turn away from Pu-erh.

Indigobloom

I don’t much like the flavour of Splenda myself… but I do add sugar to my black teas sometimes, or agave, which has a lower glycemic index :)
The whole salty/sweet thing… I find that green tea is salty sometimes but haven’t seen much of that in a pu-erh. Maybe it’s the water?

TeaBrat

I do add soymilk sometimes but never sugar… only because I think we have enough sugar in our food anyway. Well Bonnie I will try it sometime with pu-erh just to see what it’s like. :)

Indigobloom

I find soy milk adds its own natural sweetness!

Bonnie

Can’t have soy Get’s Sick!, could try coconut milk!

Indigobloom

how about almond milk? not sure, are they legumes or nuts?
Ahhh what a great tea learning opportunity :P

Bonnie

Almond nutty like me. Trees, nuts…I’m 5’9" also nuts! Almond milk is good. I use this too for breakfast. I know it’s really old lady but I have leche evaporada ie CAN MILK! Yes, I have it around because if I have whole milk it goes bad too fast since I’m alone. I can keep can milk in the cupboard for when I need to have milk in something and reconstitute with water. But, when adding it to a dark and rich tea, it brings out a caramel taste. An interesting result when you take the water out of the milk. Try it sometime.

K S

Go Splenda! Yes, wonderful in puerh. Please explain sweet/savory to me. Sweet I know. What is savory? Give me a couple common everyday examples if you can.

Bonnie

Savory is usually anything that is not sweet like meat, cheese, many snack foods like pretzels and pizza. Nuts are kinda in between. Some veggies can cross the line also…roasted garlic is savory AND sweet. Meaty and sweet in a manner of speaking. When you play one against the other…um…magic. Take a piece of dark chocolate and sprinkle salt on it and the flavor pops. The smoky sweetness of barbacue sauce on ribs. Peanut butter and honey or jam or nutella or chocolate.

Indigobloom

Sadly I have a nasty reaction to canned or powdered milk :(
but I have it anyhow in bubbletea sometimes, if I’ve had a full meal to cushion the impact. It’s just so good!

Bonnie

I have a feeling that if we had a meal together you could eat the stuff I’m allergic to and visa versa and we’d both be happy…topped off with a lot of tea!

K S

Bonnie – got it. thanx!

Bonnie

As you can tell I’m a woman of few words ;/

K S

I do wonder what kind of look I’ll get from my wife when I get my nightly dark chocolate… and the salt shaker. Oh, you know I have to do it now.

Indigobloom

LOL Bonnie, I suspect you’re right!!
What fun that would be :P

Bonnie

If you have sea salt it’s better…less minerally bleh. I like the Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar (and this company does not use child labor either). In the U.S. Target and almost Safeway etc. Also safe practice chocolates from Ghirardelli (San Francisco Company) has salted bars.

ashmanra

I also buy the Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt bars….at WalMart! Ours has them! Also a grocery called Harris Teeter, but I don’t think they are a huge chain so you probably don’t have one.

Bonnie

Good huh! I stick um in the freezer and snap off a little bit every night. I like the fact that they are socially responsible. There is a website that tells which companies are. (Hersheys is not good…I don’t buy their candies). The other S.F. one is good too.

Jim Marks

al-Masīḥ qām!

I am not going to ride you about adding sugar :-) People drink their tea how they like to drink their tea and that’s their business. I think as long as what you’re adding compliments rather than covers up, that can’t be a bad thing, just a matter of taste.

But…

I’m curious why your rinse is so long, though? Without re-opening the endless debate of whether or not to rinse at all, 30 seconds seems very long to me, especially for Western style steeping, and with a shu rather than sheng style pu-erh. I would suggest, if you insist on rinsing, that you reduce the time to no more than 5 seconds, and really, a rinse is a rinse. You cover the leaves and then pour off immediately.

If your goal is to hydrate the leaves before steeping, try this. Rinse and pour off immediately. Then let the now wet leaves rest for 30-60 seconds, then begin your first steep. Enough water will cling to the surface of the leaves that they will continue to hydrate without being submerged in water, and you won’t lose so much of the flavor potential when you pour off the rinse.

Shu steeps very fast. I tend to do gonfu style with it in a gaiwan and my first steeps are essentially as fast as I can add the water, cover it, and pour off and the resultant cup is still as black as coffee. By the time my leaves have seen 30 seconds of submersion I’m on my 8th cup. That’s a lot of flavor to send down the drain with a rinse!

Bonnie

Thanks Jim! Noone to guide me here so I’ve bungled along. I do rest the leaves. The only reason I do Western style is quantity. If I’m going to drink enough to try it every way I think people might drink it (not everyone is a Pu’er purest) I need enough to play with. I just seasoned a new yixing for my own Pu’er drinking! I have a gaiwan also and a PIAO glass pot which works well for Pu’er. I’ve been asking other Pu’er people and some use sugar with salty puer’s. I do this on the second or third cup. Some are better straight of course!

Jim Marks

No reason not to try Western steepings, I was only trying to suggest that, since you’ll get far fewer steeps with Western style, you don’t want to lose so much flavor during the rinse.

Bonnie

No my ears are open and listening! :)

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Indigobloom

Squeeee! I love that you found pecan!! thanks for putting a name to what I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It’s been buggin’ me lol

TeaBrat

noooo! I never add sugar and Splenda is icky. :)

Bonnie

I’ve talked to another person who is a tea sommelier who adds sugar to salty pu-erhs because it brings out other flavors. I was just doing this naturally because you do this in cooking. Sweet/savory…salty and sweet. The splenda is because when I am drinking so much tea I can’t have too much sugar…sorry, I’ve lost 50LB’s and need to go down another 20! I don’t always add sugar but I am trying to write about tea in a way that will address how other people drink it. I especially would like my family and friends not to turn away from Pu-erh.

Indigobloom

I don’t much like the flavour of Splenda myself… but I do add sugar to my black teas sometimes, or agave, which has a lower glycemic index :)
The whole salty/sweet thing… I find that green tea is salty sometimes but haven’t seen much of that in a pu-erh. Maybe it’s the water?

TeaBrat

I do add soymilk sometimes but never sugar… only because I think we have enough sugar in our food anyway. Well Bonnie I will try it sometime with pu-erh just to see what it’s like. :)

Indigobloom

I find soy milk adds its own natural sweetness!

Bonnie

Can’t have soy Get’s Sick!, could try coconut milk!

Indigobloom

how about almond milk? not sure, are they legumes or nuts?
Ahhh what a great tea learning opportunity :P

Bonnie

Almond nutty like me. Trees, nuts…I’m 5’9" also nuts! Almond milk is good. I use this too for breakfast. I know it’s really old lady but I have leche evaporada ie CAN MILK! Yes, I have it around because if I have whole milk it goes bad too fast since I’m alone. I can keep can milk in the cupboard for when I need to have milk in something and reconstitute with water. But, when adding it to a dark and rich tea, it brings out a caramel taste. An interesting result when you take the water out of the milk. Try it sometime.

K S

Go Splenda! Yes, wonderful in puerh. Please explain sweet/savory to me. Sweet I know. What is savory? Give me a couple common everyday examples if you can.

Bonnie

Savory is usually anything that is not sweet like meat, cheese, many snack foods like pretzels and pizza. Nuts are kinda in between. Some veggies can cross the line also…roasted garlic is savory AND sweet. Meaty and sweet in a manner of speaking. When you play one against the other…um…magic. Take a piece of dark chocolate and sprinkle salt on it and the flavor pops. The smoky sweetness of barbacue sauce on ribs. Peanut butter and honey or jam or nutella or chocolate.

Indigobloom

Sadly I have a nasty reaction to canned or powdered milk :(
but I have it anyhow in bubbletea sometimes, if I’ve had a full meal to cushion the impact. It’s just so good!

Bonnie

I have a feeling that if we had a meal together you could eat the stuff I’m allergic to and visa versa and we’d both be happy…topped off with a lot of tea!

K S

Bonnie – got it. thanx!

Bonnie

As you can tell I’m a woman of few words ;/

K S

I do wonder what kind of look I’ll get from my wife when I get my nightly dark chocolate… and the salt shaker. Oh, you know I have to do it now.

Indigobloom

LOL Bonnie, I suspect you’re right!!
What fun that would be :P

Bonnie

If you have sea salt it’s better…less minerally bleh. I like the Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar (and this company does not use child labor either). In the U.S. Target and almost Safeway etc. Also safe practice chocolates from Ghirardelli (San Francisco Company) has salted bars.

ashmanra

I also buy the Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt bars….at WalMart! Ours has them! Also a grocery called Harris Teeter, but I don’t think they are a huge chain so you probably don’t have one.

Bonnie

Good huh! I stick um in the freezer and snap off a little bit every night. I like the fact that they are socially responsible. There is a website that tells which companies are. (Hersheys is not good…I don’t buy their candies). The other S.F. one is good too.

Jim Marks

al-Masīḥ qām!

I am not going to ride you about adding sugar :-) People drink their tea how they like to drink their tea and that’s their business. I think as long as what you’re adding compliments rather than covers up, that can’t be a bad thing, just a matter of taste.

But…

I’m curious why your rinse is so long, though? Without re-opening the endless debate of whether or not to rinse at all, 30 seconds seems very long to me, especially for Western style steeping, and with a shu rather than sheng style pu-erh. I would suggest, if you insist on rinsing, that you reduce the time to no more than 5 seconds, and really, a rinse is a rinse. You cover the leaves and then pour off immediately.

If your goal is to hydrate the leaves before steeping, try this. Rinse and pour off immediately. Then let the now wet leaves rest for 30-60 seconds, then begin your first steep. Enough water will cling to the surface of the leaves that they will continue to hydrate without being submerged in water, and you won’t lose so much of the flavor potential when you pour off the rinse.

Shu steeps very fast. I tend to do gonfu style with it in a gaiwan and my first steeps are essentially as fast as I can add the water, cover it, and pour off and the resultant cup is still as black as coffee. By the time my leaves have seen 30 seconds of submersion I’m on my 8th cup. That’s a lot of flavor to send down the drain with a rinse!

Bonnie

Thanks Jim! Noone to guide me here so I’ve bungled along. I do rest the leaves. The only reason I do Western style is quantity. If I’m going to drink enough to try it every way I think people might drink it (not everyone is a Pu’er purest) I need enough to play with. I just seasoned a new yixing for my own Pu’er drinking! I have a gaiwan also and a PIAO glass pot which works well for Pu’er. I’ve been asking other Pu’er people and some use sugar with salty puer’s. I do this on the second or third cup. Some are better straight of course!

Jim Marks

No reason not to try Western steepings, I was only trying to suggest that, since you’ll get far fewer steeps with Western style, you don’t want to lose so much flavor during the rinse.

Bonnie

No my ears are open and listening! :)

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Colorado Grandma
http://www.teaandincense.com
Grandmother to 3 teenaged girls and 5 young boys. (we all drink tea!) I began teatime in the Summer over 30 years ago when my children were little. We took a break from play for tea and snacks every day. My children loved tea time.
There are several tea houses close to my home and a Tea Festival in Boulder. Fort Collins is a bit of a foodie town. We brew lots of Beer (Fat Tire is one brand) and have several Spice Shops (Savory was one featured on Food Network).
Colorado State University is a mile from my home and the Rocky Mountains begin to climb at the end of my street. The climate is semi-arid with LOTS OF SUN AT 5000 feet. (Heavy Winter snows start in higher elevations). Living my whole life in Northern California (Silicon Valley) I have to admit that I LOVE IT HERE!!!
I attend a wonderful Greek Orthodox Church and enjoy cooking ethnic foods (all kinds). I am disabled with Migraines and Fibromyalgia.
My family is Bi-racial (African-American, Scots) and Bi-cultural, (Peru, Cyprus, France, Mexico, Native American)
I’ve worked at a Winery, was a System Analyst, in telecom, been an Athlete and Coach, Artist, Vista Volunteer. Love healthy cooking (and delicious food!). Love to travel and have been to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Peru, Croatia, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska

Location

Fort Collins,Colorado

Website

http://www.teaandincense.com

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