Standing on the Rim
When I ordered my brick of Pu’er, I made sure to buy a .7 oz packet for sampling right away.
I’m so new at storing larger cakes and bricks of PU that I never would have had patience to wait before diving in with my Pu’er knife like an impatient tea Zorro.
Having purchased a large brick is a leap of faith. Is this tea going to be one of those special Pu’er’s that will grow richer in time and dazzle me with exceptional flavor?
I’ve waited to read the notes from Verdant on taste until after I had tried my sample.
I used my fat, white 4oz Gaiwan and 4 grams leaf. I always use Spring Water.
The liquor was an intensely rich Auburn Brown color through all 5 infusions.
The infusions were quirky (like me).
I began with 20 seconds on the first infusion which was fine (the first infusion is usually light), but the second steeping was very strong.
I cut back the time to 10 seconds on the 3rd infusion (which is the same as an ‘instant’ steep for me since I’m a bit slow) and that was most successful!
Keep the infusions at 5-10 seconds, not longer, for best results.
Even though I went from light to heavy and back to light strength, the flavor never went weird. (No hidden boxing glove came out on that second strong steeping and popped me in the nose with a bitter left hook.)
Had I drained the energy and flavor from the tea? The oversteeping could have diluted the Pu’er.
Thankfully, the third infusion was very good, and from that point on the shorter 10 second steep times produced smooth, juicy and flavorful tastings.
All along I tasted soft, sweet ginger with a bite on the front of my tongue that lingered long after drinking the tea.
Some might say there’s a cedar wood flavor but I tasted redwood. That redwood taste is warm and sunny with a tang to it and has more body than cedar.
There was a creamy, light saltiness on the last steeping.
When I drink tea I stand on the rim of the memories in my mind. It’s like looking over the edge of a canyon at pictures far below… with signs such as these:
The Grand Canyon, Santorini, Golden Gate Bridge, Rome, Peru, Alaska, Redwood Forests, Monterey Bay.
Under these signs and pictures are sub headings such as:
Golden Gate Park, The Aurora Borialis and Hiking in the Andes. Places I’ve been and things I’ve done…like my own mental NETFLIX.
When I begin to drink a tea, I stand on that rim waiting for the tea to take me to the place it wants to go and the tea always takes me to a good memory, never a bad one.
Today, I thought about the Redwoods. Inside the Redwoods main heading was a subtitle: Santa’s Village (Scotts Valley, CA.)
This place doesn’t exist anymore, but when I was young it was a magical place tucked into the forest with real Raindeer and a Santa House with Santa Claus. The sweet smell of the enormous redwood trees and the fresh baked Gingerbread scent coming from Mrs. Claus’s pastry shoppe sounds like a strange thought to pair up with a fine Pu’er.
But wait… Redwood, ginger, earthy forest…it wasn’t that far removed from the taste of the tea!
You don’t get to choose what the journey will be. The tea does the picking.
Over the rim I gooooo and I look forward to more leaps!