Thank you mrmopar for this Christmas present Pu-erh sample!
It’s a gorgeous day! The sun is shining brightly on small patches of lingering snow that are refusing to melt. They freeze at night and stick out their tongues in the daytime…laughing at the 54 degree dry heat. (Only 4 inches this year so far, more due Friday)
Every Winter my town fills up with birds. Mostly Geese and Ducks from Canada (Thanks guys! Next year, stick tea samples on them,OK?!)
Since open space isn’t at a premium here, there’s room for birds, fox, deer, elk and other wildlife (and there’s lots of it!)
Which brings me to BEES. (Yes, you didn’t see that coming but here we are at bees, right after the birds.)
Colorado produces lots of honey, especially clover, hops, alfalfa and wildflower honey. I’m fond of stopping into a honey store to sample local in-season honey and a few imports from Oregon (blackberry honey) or California (orange blossom honey). Just a little is enough to flavor a whole dish, but others are subtle.
Honey and carmalized onions, local stout (got lotsa breweries) with short ribs…then slow cooked is fantastic.
Where am I going with all this talk of honey and food, animals and bees?
I began with 1 rinse then an instant steep and pour.
The tea I chose to drink had a Honey Amber liquor (among other things).
The scent was sugar cookie and the flavor was like Log Cabin pancake syrup (although not as sweet).
Steep two was 10 seconds and deep amber honey color. The texture was clean, almost a citrus but not astringent. Way back in my throat there was a thickness after swallowing the sweet tea and I tasted clove without any bitterness. The aroma was white cake.
On the third steep I tasted something savory like toasted sesame seed honey candies (the kind you find in the health food stores).
I expected the tea to become caramel, but it surprised me. This was a good flavor, richer and deeper.
Another steeping and the color was beautiful, glowing amber honey in my glass mug.
The flavor was spicy, like spiced honey or a very mild Chai (if it were sweetened and had milk added I thought maybe it would be like a Chai).
I added a little sugar and the sweet honey and spice revealed something new.
What had been undetectable before, a light shu earthiness that had poked it’s flavor personality into the tasting (much to my great pleasure!).
Such a whimsical pu-erh! A honey….haha…!