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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you mrmopar for this sample Pu-erh!
My education in Pu-erh has come from the generous people here on Steepster who share with me from their personal supplies of Pu-erh (like mrmopar, Roughage in the U.K. and others) and samples put in with my orders from so many vendors. Thank you all!
It’s funny to look back and remember my first experience with
They were so heavily flavored that I could barely detect the underlying earthiness…but it was there, and I developed a hunger for it.
This is where I began this morning. Thinking about the ignorance of the newcomer to Pu-erh. My ignorance, which I still have.
Recently on a discussion thread, someone took a shot at one of our vendors, then at me (for knowing nothing about Pu-erh).
When I read their linked blog comments they were also critical of ‘all’ of us on Steepster.
I was offended not so much for myself but everyone else.
The potshots at me were correct though. I ‘am’ a learner and I ’don’t’ know very much about tea yet.
My lack of humility suckered me into a dialog that I should have stayed out of. The people who made the comments don’t write reviews on Steepster. They just appeared out of the blue.
I’m learning about Pu-erh because of you wonderfully kind Steepster people.
One thing I swear I never want to be is a TEA SNOB! I’d rather stay right here and review tea than gain the respect of those who despise Steepsterites!
The Pu-erh for this morning:
The aroma of the wet leaves for every pour was mild shoe leather.
On all but the first steep the liquor was dark red-brown and clear.
1. After a 30 second rinse, the liquor was light brown. It was tight, compact bark waiting to open. The flavor was light cedar, a little rough and furry with a slight pepper on the tip of my tongue.
2. The flavor was much smoother but with an almost bitter chicory cedar taste. The other comparison was the thick bitter taste of dark rye bread. There was little saltiness or sweetness but lots of juice.
3. This steep produced a softer, milder cedar flavor and thickness. There was an alfalfa sprout scent and sweetness with the taste of water crackers. The earlier bitter edge was gone but the chicory was still there in a palatable mild form with a rich mouth-feel.
4. Up front there was pepper and juiciness. The flavor was similar to steeping #3 and smooth.
I thought about this Pu-erh, and even though this has been rated as ready to drink…it seems to me that it still hasn’t developed full depth. Maybe this is where it will remain though. If it were a wine I would liken it to a mild Merlot (and Merlot is NOT a dirty word, it just was overproduced in horrid amounts by every closet winemaker on earth!).
So much of what I love about Pu-erh comes from my Winery background and from living in Morgan Hill where we grew mushrooms, and were surrounded by farms and wineries. Living next to Gilroy, Salinas, Watsonville and Monterey with all the fruit, vegetables, mountains and Sea gave me a sense of what I look for in Pu-erh.
I may be wrong some of the time, or maybe all of the time but I’m certainly enjoying myself!
I have found what I really love to drink and I think the love shows.
Thanks mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample
It was late afternoon and one of those cloudy warm days where you know there will soon be drops of rain falling.
I was busy doing bills and received my first phone call on the newly installed phone line from the local emergency callback service, informing me that trucks will be spraying for West Nile on my street tonight. Really? We haven’t had rain in ever so long. West Nile?! (In about 8 weeks those critters will freeze to death!)
My second call was an invite to a political luncheon at the home of a local candidate. For free. (Well, in my case they’re not getting any money anyway because I have none).
Oh I do love life in Smallville!
End of Summer is celebrated with an all dog,all human swim at Central Park Lake. (Pretty neat!)
The railroad tracks that run parallel with the main street carries two LONG trains each day that halt traffic straight through downtown. (I’m talking about trains with over 100 cars on them and all you can do is sit in traffic and wait.)
The good people of Fort Collins decided to make use of those train tracks and redesigned the roadway around them, closing the streets downtown (causing a huge detour) for the past few months so that a Trolly Train will be able to run back and forth the whole length of Fort Collins during NON-COMMERCIAL-TRAIN hours. (this is beginning to look more and more like Disneyland. First,the Main Street was modeled after our town and now we’re getting this little train going back and forth…?!)
My oh my?! I needed a Pu-erh latte today!
(Sorry mrmopar, no disrespecting of the Pu!)
30 second steeping of this Pu-erh is plenty of time for a rich dark broth. I drank a 4oz first steep to test the sweetness and salt(which was perfect for my plan).
The second and third steeps I poured together for a big mug of dark
pu-erh which was earthy with no nasty flavor. This was nice and smooth. Like I said, perfect for my plan!
I added CREAM (not milk) and Sweetening and I became “Happy Bonnie”!
I don’t keep ice cream and cake and all those sorts of dangerous to my figure goodies in my house…ha…and I don’t need to with all the tea I’ve accumulated!
But, when I want the richness that comes close to a candy bar, my favorite Black chocolaty tea’s, a sensuous Chai, or caramel Pu-erh Latte satisfies my dessert craving! This did the trick!
http://youtu.be/KlmU6fXSwfk If you like trains, here it is.
My old friend is conductor on this old trolly that runs from town to Central Park…watch it fly! http://youtu.be/gEl2ZDuZQy8
I don’t have any details about this one, it just says from meng hai tea cooked around 2005. i got this one in a swap tho im not sure who from or when, i do know that ive had it for a while and i’m glad i found it cuz i obviously hid it away(crazy people hide stuff lol). its really good, nice and dark with slight fishy smell which isn’t a bad thing to me, very smooth and tasty tea tho. not bad at all.
Thank you mrmopar for this Sample Pu-erh!
Now that the stress of selling my car is over…sigh…I am reasonably clear headed and able to drink Pu-erh’s and
enjoy them without working so hard to find the inner calm that’s
needed to write. It’s been a good lesson.
I’m retired, the rest of you Steepster’s go to work or have kids or school and busy lives. You make time to fit in your own tea reviews and stories. I appreciate your effort more than you know.
Steep time and 1 wash were 30 seconds for each.
The wet leaf began as a raisin muffin scent and ground walnuts, then a leathery rye bread and finally a bakery scent.
Color for each steeping was red/brown, dark red/brown and very dark golden red/brown liquor with each one absolutely clear.
1. I noticed the energy in the tea before the taste. A powerful feeling from a smooth sweet tea that tasted more like the familiar scent of walking through the redwood forest than the earth underneath. It was that tree bark that I’m familiar with and grew up around. (I have no experience with cedar except small pieces of wood) I noticed a peppery feel in my mouth that was playful, like dappled light bouncing up and around. The finish was silky.
2. Oooh this was a much darker woodsy cedar bark flavor. I could still see the bottom of the Gaiwan through the dark brew, but the taste stopped just shy of becoming a bitter bark. As the tea cooled the mouth-feel was thicker but still bright and a little dry right at the back of the throat.
3. Out of the forest proper and arriving at my daughters cabin/house in a clearing at the corner of Conference and Pine (where the huge redwood tree came crashing down and smashed the car, the camper and all the bikes one Winter), Annalisa would be making bread as always…with bits of seeds or nuts and bread crumbs stuck to the baking stones…still toasting away but not burnt. (I’d be looking for the covered butter dish and Olallieberry Jam!).
The Pu-erh was smelling more like the baking bits on the stone and not like the forest or trees anymore. Third steeping’s often become the best of the best. There was a little flatness to the tea that I thought could use a perking up.
I added 1/4 tsp of raw sugar and the savory quality of the Pu-erh came out in buckets! Wow! I was so pleased! The tea tasted sooo good!
Such a good Pu-erh!
(Listen, purists may scoff…(Bonnie adds sugar to Pu-erh…what a dumb lady!)… but noone scoffs at seasoning food. Salt and sugar are used to draw out hidden flavor so I experiment.)
My little story is not much today. Just a memory of walking in the forest. My family history with a place in the Coast Redwoods goes back to the 1920’s where there was a little community with Summer cabins and a Conference Center, a big cement pool and row boats on a creek. My Aunt Jessie (born in the 1880’s) had an old cabin there where family gathered.
My parents had their honeymoon there, my daughter was married in the Chapel there, her first home was there. I went to camp and we all have our sweet memories.
The best is walking alone through the floor of the forest with towering trees overhead and dappled sunlight barely able to reach the soft spongy red/brown ground below. If you want to know why I love Pu-erh, it might be because of the aroma of the redwood forest. It looks like a forest of chunky and furry Pu-erh! To hide in a tree hollow, or stand in a natural ring of redwoods and look up at the sky is mystical. The trees lift their hands wiggling their green fingers… far beyond what I am able to do in thanksgiving for such beauty.
One of my regular paths led down to Bean Creek and had a small creeklet of water next to it…lined with ferns (looking quite prehistoric) which ended at an old swinging bridge where I could walk across, then down to a sandy beach and see the former creeklet cascading as a grand waterfall into the the larger Bean Creek in front of me.http://youtu.be/nBLkhNoX9Dc (wow found this later on youtube…the waterfall and creek)
My parents and grandparents, my children and grandchildren all have the memory of this place.
Tea is grand for memories. (now that I read that phrase it sounds
too dumb…Tea is not ‘grand for memories’ it kicks my butt! I have memory problems! I’m a visual thinker who’s thinker is broken and tea helps kick it into the remembering mode…so that’s what I mean!)
Just tried this one again it has mellowed out in the pumidor. The brick has become more easy to “break”. The flavor is very nice now with just a touch of astringency no bitterness or off flavors or aroma. This has turned into a better tea with a sweetness on the palate now with an almost wineflavor to it. bumping it up a bit.
Thank you mrmopar for this sample Puerh!
After morning prayers, a favorite way to begin my day is PUERH!
I had a choice of several samples to choose from thanks to my Steepster friend, and this one had a note that said it was a good every day Shu, mellow and thick (which I love).
I rinsed the leaves (chunky dark brown bark) 30 seconds and then for each infusion steeped 30-40 seconds in my PIAO before releasing the tea into a Gaiwan.
The wet leaves took time to break up from the bark stage into a sponge and finally a clump of chocolate brown mulch.
The wet aroma is something I love about Puerh. It’s so organic and sensual. A perfect match for my wild Highland Scot heart.
The smell began as coffee, breadish breakfast aroma then a wet wheat and hay scent on the second steep and finally a sweet pastry steam bath taming down into a grass and hay scent on the final round.
The liquor was clear and ranged from red-brown to coffee color to root beer brown on the last steep.
Each steeping was mildly scented with a savory aroma closer to light mushroom broth than earth and dirt.
Steep one, the flavor was delicate, smooth and nutty with light saltiness and sweet juicy mouthfeel. The flavor was a bit bready with a light mushroom taste.
Steep two was heavier and more savory. Full, rich, with lots of juice and a flavor that was elusive…so I came back again and again…until I found berry in the tea…a dry raspberry taste which as the tea cooled became mellow. A sweet pipe tobacco scent arrived on the finish.
The third steep was the most delicious as is often the case. Sweet and salty, savory and juicy but mild. There was a pleasent tingle on my tongue.
I added a little sweetening and thought how I would love a Thermos of Puerh like this when sitting on a beach. Somewhere like Lake Tahoe with the alpine climate and clear blue lake.
I took some photo’s, you may notice a figure on the bench…me… http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBg47K3
This Puerh is very good…the kind I would keep as an every day Puerh and I’m going to steep the rest as my ICED treat for later!
(Just in case you don’t read the notes below, mrmopar has the icon of the blue Charger so I have a clip of my first car which was a 56 Merc
so cool…with the Beach Boy’s singing… http://youtu.be/DaoMRQsQ-tw )
purchased this tea as a splurge reward to myself. i almost stalled at the price but wow. i see why. a very good premium tea i have already infused it 5 times and it still maintains its strength and flavor. dark earthy and tasty. heading to get another cup now. 30 second steeps increasing about 10 seconds between cups.
One of my favorites wish they made it into a cake larger than 150 grams. dark mysterious woody and subdued floral hints. I resteep about three times. I liked this so much I purchased a 750 gram tin of five and it is a go to when I want a smooth tea at the end of the day. 100 percent top pu-er! You must be a pu-er drinker not for the faint of heart! Re-steep adding about 15 seconds to your prior time I get about 4 out of it.
a very tight packed cake 100 grams this was one of my first pu-er teas that I bought and it hooked me. very smooth just be sure to wash this tea and let it open up for 20 to 30 seconds toss the first brew or wash. steep about 30 seconds on the first time and increase your steep after that.good for about 4 infusions you may get more but i prefer a strong cuppa tea.only downside is this can only be bought in a 100 gram cake(I have bought 5 so far)
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I’ve ignored this tea for a while so I thought I’d give it some attention. Of course this Pu-erh has a wonderful earthy aroma and a dark copper liquor(I brewed double the amount..). It has a lovely taste, kind of earthy and sweet with a very, very subtle floral-ish under notes. Overall I have enjoyed this tea (especially with breakfast :D)!