HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thank you Invader Zim for this wonderful tea gift sample!
I saved this ‘Experimental Pressing Sample’ that Invader Zim shared with me from her Tea Club offering for tonight, New Year’s Eve!
(If I saved every tea to drink on special occasions that I’ve received from friends here on Steepster, each day would have to be a Holiday!)
Steepster people are the BEST!
The little cube of pressed Pu’er is beautiful. It looks like a jewel. You really can’t tell from the picture, but there’s a sheen…a brilliance that I’ve never seen before as though delicate silk threads are woven into the leaves.
My instructions were to use half the small square jewel, boiling water…1 rinse and then steep 6-8 seconds in 4 oz. water multiple times.
The aroma after the rinse was different than any Pu’er I’ve had before. It smelled like a light black tea with honey and malt and no aroma of typical earthy Pu’er. This was altogether peculiar.
The liquor was pure bright gold, which sparkled in my glass mug. (It’s worth it to have clear glass to see the color on this tea!)
My first sip was sweet and juicy, more like a light Nepalese Black Tea with a hint of Darjeeling than Pu’er. Brisk and clean, not astringent or dry.
How could this be a Pu-er? I’d never tasted anything like this before. No earthiness! No barn or stable, no mushrooms, cedar, bread or cake. What was this all about?
The second steep revealed raw sugar crystals…the kind I sometimes don’t put into my tea but just pop into my mouth like little candies with their faint taste of molasses. Smooth, clean and lovely tasting.
For the third pour I added a few seconds on the steep time and thought there was a fruity flavor, very faint but there. I couldn’t figure out what it was because every time I went… “That’s the one!”, it was too strong. Not peach, apricot or any other flavor, so…I changed my mind. I concluded that the taste was honey/agave. Mixed together agave reduces the honey taste which is what I imagined tasting this delicate tea.
As I was pouring the 4th steep into my glass, I was mumbling to myself…“What’s the fruit flavor in this tea, something is in there, I know it from somewhere?”
I was turning to sit at the table where I was making my notes…and the answer came to my mind.
“Ripe…yellow Golden Delicious Apple Pulp!” Just like that.
That was it! These sweet apples grew outside my bedroom window in California from age 7-20. A dwarf golden tree that spread out branches horizontally and had to be propped up on stakes because there were so many apples. I had eaten my share of sweet, warm fleshed goodness and this Pu-er tasted remarkably like them.
Other apples are tart and may have tart skins but not these apples. Everything is sweet like candy and juicy. The sunshine comes inside to such an extent that you can almost hand-squeeze the apple juice out of them. Nothing in the stores can compare with these lovelies.
(If you’re not familiar with this taste, it’s a bit like the flesh of a sweet Bosc Pear).
To be more certain, I added a few grains of sugar and the tea flavor didn’t turn into caramel. It stayed apple.
This is a unique and absolutely outstanding Pu’er!
The Best Thing to happen to me in many years has been finding the people here on Steepster!
I am amazed at how generous and caring everyone is!
If I were able to do it, I’d rent a resort and fly everyone in for
a vacation where we could all share tea and good food. You are the
best and I couldn’t be more proud or humbled to be a part of such
a place as this.
Thank you to the creators of Steepster!
With Great Affection for All of You, Happy New Year!
http://youtu.be/STqDowSbSTQ Auld Lang Syne on Bagpipes (What can I say, I’m a Scot)