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97

Pre-release Review

Inside my last Verdant order, I received this pre-release Pu’er. That’s all that was on the packet. I shot an e-mail off to David Duckler asking “How do I brew this Sheng Pu’er?”
The answer came:
Gaiwan for 4-6oz water and 1tsp leaf
1 second rinse
3 second steep
add 1 second for each additional steep

I could do that. (Gulp)

Dry:
This is a dark brown compact bark with a bit of sheen.

Color
The color of the liquor remained light golden honey except for the first steeping which was yellow.

Wet Leaf
The wet leaves are the longest, beautiful olive brown leaves I’ve seen… some almost 5 inches long. Their scent began as ocean seaweed and progressed to salty raisin tobacco then a meaty light tobacco. Smoky at all stages.

I was going to begin talking about each steeping 1,2,3 and tell what I tasted. I was having difficulty.

“There shouldn’t be any problem reviewing this tea”, I told myself.
I walked over to the couch, put my feet up and reclined…waiting.

I waited for some time…and trying to be still…waited some more.

I sat thinking about Pu-er’s in general. Why are so many people fearful about them. Yes, it’s true there’s a bit of preparation with Pu-er and you can think too hard about it so that the pleasure’s gone and it becomes a chore. “Do I rinse it?” “How long do I steep this thing?”
“What is Shu, Sheng, raw and cooked, sounds like a menu item?” “What am I supposed to be tasting? Dirt, apples, mushrooms,or honey?” “What makes it awesome or gross in the first place?” I’ve been asked these questions.

No wonder so many people just throw in the towel (or toucha)!

Maybe I was thinking too hard about this particular Pu-er myself.
Pu-er shouldn’t be that difficult it should be pleasurable.

I went back to the kitchen counter more relaxed, took a deep breath and poured boiling water to wash the Pu-er for 1 second, steeped it 3 seconds and poured some to drink.
It smelled smoky and tasted like light corn and moist sweet rice at the front and finish. This was a tea full of juice and body. The flavor was smooth for a young tea. (This wasn’t an earthy flavor so for those who like green tea or white tea this would appeal most to you. Smooth and light.)

When I poured again…this lightly smoke scented tea produced prickly nettles on my tongue tip for a few seconds. Then, the tea became smooth with a more mature mouthfeel than young tea would normally possess. That fact sets this tea apart as a stunner. It doesn’t have the roughness and harsh feel of a young tea. There was a faint gyokuro taste, a richer cup than the first steep.
On the finish the tea began to nag me with a taste memory of something I used to grill but I couldn’t remember what it was.
I began to obsess…standing in my kitchen and looking through my spice cabinet for clues. “I know this flavor…I have it somewhere in my kitchen and it goes with plank grilling salmon,” I said.

I have a container filled with flavored salts (hickory, expresso, ginger, applewood, lavendar, balsamac, hawaiian, and so on)…and I looked through the bin until I found one of them that said Alderwood Salt. I took a tiny taste. Ah! That was the one I was looking for.

I tasted ALDER in this tea. Alder is a sweet wood…close to corn and sticky rice in scent.
I found the sweet wood flavor in the tea delicate, sweet and mild.
There was again some hint of corn on the finish lingering.

I knew there was more for the tea to say. I had a little sample and discovered that I am limited with one or two tastings. This is a Pu’er that is like a good book. I would have to take time and read it over many steepings and many encounters to begin to know what it has to say.

I had relaxed enough to really enjoy this Pu-er, the flavor had became unrestrained and full of life. I am always learning from tea about that need to be present with it.

There are so many different kinds of Pu-er, light and dark ones, earthy and mild. A little rinse and off you go. They are fun to try and share with friends. Good for the body (and you know the rest)…good for the soul. Nothing really to be fearful of trying because as with any tea, they are all different and you will find ones that you love.

This tea will age well. It is already mature beyond it’s years. A young Pu-er with a bright future. Fresh and flirty. A Pu-er inviting me to take my time and not rush the relationship. Light and delicious now, but just wait….

Joshua Smith

Mm, this sounds really nice. I’ll certainly be first in line to get some when they release it to the rest of us :)

Scatterbrain

On to my list it goes.

Dylan Oxford

Haha, here’s a secret: I’m one of the people that fear pu’er ;)

Bonnie

Nah not you! I’m a grandma Dylan! There are all kinds of Pu’er ‘s like this one which is not the dark earthy type if you don’t like thst sort of thing. I play with them just like any tea.I add sugar to some dark ones and make lattes with others. Some puerhs are spicy.
I fear sour artificial flavoring!

Michelle

You are always so expressive with your posts!

Dylan Oxford

Haha, yeah, I didn’t say it was rational ;). I had read a few reviews of pu’er that scared me off a bit at first – some had said that the flavor was earthy like mushrooms… and I decided that probably wasn’t going to be for me. Although, the reviews that I’ve seen from some folk on the Verdant pu’ers makes me believe that there’s a few different levels of pu’er out there :)

Relmaster

I always Love reading your reviews!! They are very well written, informative,..accurate, with subtle hints of humor while maintaining a engrossing story as well!! I aspire to be as descriptive and passionate with my own reviews some day!! Any tips for tasting/writing reviews? I would like to start enjoying Pu-erh tea..I have never had it before!! What Pu-erh’s would you suggest for a beginner? What companies should I purchase from?

Bonnie

I will send you a note. Thank you.

Bonnie

Paul, I’ve changed my mind…let’s write a musical instead! Dancing Gaiwans and Singing Beengs!

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Comments

Joshua Smith

Mm, this sounds really nice. I’ll certainly be first in line to get some when they release it to the rest of us :)

Scatterbrain

On to my list it goes.

Dylan Oxford

Haha, here’s a secret: I’m one of the people that fear pu’er ;)

Bonnie

Nah not you! I’m a grandma Dylan! There are all kinds of Pu’er ‘s like this one which is not the dark earthy type if you don’t like thst sort of thing. I play with them just like any tea.I add sugar to some dark ones and make lattes with others. Some puerhs are spicy.
I fear sour artificial flavoring!

Michelle

You are always so expressive with your posts!

Dylan Oxford

Haha, yeah, I didn’t say it was rational ;). I had read a few reviews of pu’er that scared me off a bit at first – some had said that the flavor was earthy like mushrooms… and I decided that probably wasn’t going to be for me. Although, the reviews that I’ve seen from some folk on the Verdant pu’ers makes me believe that there’s a few different levels of pu’er out there :)

Relmaster

I always Love reading your reviews!! They are very well written, informative,..accurate, with subtle hints of humor while maintaining a engrossing story as well!! I aspire to be as descriptive and passionate with my own reviews some day!! Any tips for tasting/writing reviews? I would like to start enjoying Pu-erh tea..I have never had it before!! What Pu-erh’s would you suggest for a beginner? What companies should I purchase from?

Bonnie

I will send you a note. Thank you.

Bonnie

Paul, I’ve changed my mind…let’s write a musical instead! Dancing Gaiwans and Singing Beengs!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

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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