Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this lovely Pu-erh Sample!
I wrote a complete review and then…Steepster crashed…and it was lost…so here I go again!
Last night I was up until the wee hours..1:45am just not ready to go to bed! Fortunately for me I could sleep in and like a lazy feline take my time in choosing a morning tea from the new box of samples that arrived from Teavivre. Such a delight!
The shipment contained one large sample of Pu-erh my favorite tea! Not wanting to fuss this morning with Gaiwan’s and such, I decided to brew a whole 24oz pot Western Style so that I could lounge back on the couch, down pillows around me, tea tray set in front and gaze out the window at a pending cloudburst. Could a day be more perfect for Pu-erh?!
A quick rinse of the loose leaves and then the 2 minute steeping began.
Don’t you love smelling the leaves? I first noticed how dark the liquor was after such a short steep time all chocolate brown. The leaves small, deep and smelling more than lightly of leather, but intensly sweet! There was something else.I could hardly believe it! I smelled mint! No way, I told myself, there could not be mint in these wet leaves. I got up and walked away, smelled around the room, smelled my hands, and no mint! When I went back to the leaves. Leathery, sweet mint again. Curious!
My first big sip was fresh with a good amount of earthy Pu-erh flavor and juice. There was no astringency, no malt or yam or pepper or cinnamon or any or the other adjectives used so frequently by me in discribing Pu-erhs. I had to think awhile about this one. I added milk and didn’t like it. I added sweetening which was ok but didn’t have any affect. It was pleasing sweet.
By the third mug of tea, I began to settle on the flavors that came closest to what I could describe for this tea.
The Pu-erh was refreshing and elegant, smooth with the flavor of rye bread when you can taste the seeds in the bite. The feeling was full enough in the mouth but deceptively simple at the same time in an almost palate cleansing way.
I had used more of the morning tea leaves for making iced Pu-erh in the afternoon but the clock had been creeping up on me and now it was time to cook dinner!
Tonight I made a stir fry of Organic Chicken, Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry, Shallots, Garlic, Tamari Soy Sauce and Meyer Lemon Vinegar (on high heat in grape seed oil) Then I turned the heat down lower and at the end I added some (1/4 cup) of the Pu-erh which I had steeped for 4 minutes. The Pu-erh magically thickened the broth. I took the pan off the heat, tossed in a few handfuls of organic spinach and…it was soooo delicious! The Pu-erh added a richness that was like adding Shiitake Mushrooms! Life is grand!