Pure Puer Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This one, for me, is hard to rate. Upfront it has a really pleasing earthy taste and enjoyable complexity to it. The problem for me is, as I continue to drink it, I start to get a bitter taste. As I continue to steep it, the tea does start to mellow but there is still a slight bitterness to towards the end. I would really love this tea if I could just capture the pleasing taste that it has and lose the bitterness that develops toward the end.
Quick Notes Thanks and apologies to AmyOh . I though I had logged this one, nope. LOL
This is another beautiful mini ‘tuo’/brick. THe leaf look amazing and tender, I almost feel bad about steeping it. The dry scent is sweet and mellow honey and somewhat faint fruits. When wet, it has a stronger and sweeter presence and yet a bittersweet to bitter tone with fruity notes.
The liquor is light yellow/light golden color. The taste is mellow and sweet with slight fruit notes on the first two steeps. As the leaf opens the later steeps get more complex with the bitter notes (desirable) that seem fruity, yet somehow floral. The tea is slightly refreshing but mostly sweet in the aftertaste.
Thanks again Amy, really good one. The ‘spent’ leaf is beautiful when fully opened, looks young and lively. I bought the ripe menghai square. When we do the next swap I’ll send it to you to try.
Dry – Sweet, earthy.
Wet – Sweet, creamy, bitter/tart notes(chocolate?)
Liquor – Dark Brown/Deep Bronze.
1st 20secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy, a slight bitterness up front. As it washes down, it is slightly more bitter and has a bit of astringency (particles “Chen Dian?”). The aftertaste is sweet, earthy and slightly refreshing.
2nd 10secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy and slight bitterness. As it washes down, it is bitter but smooth creaminess. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and slightly refreshing.
3rd 15secs – Sweet, earthy, vanilla, creamy and slight bitterness. As it washes down, it is bitter, smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and refreshing.
4th 15secs – Sweet, vanilla, smooth and faded bitter notes. As it washes down it is bittersweet and smooth. The aftertaste is sweet and smooth that becomes refreshing.
5th 25secs – Sweet, vanilla, smooth, slightly creamy up front. As it washes down, it becomes bittersweet and slowly turns sweeter. The aftertaste is sweet, smooth and refreshing.
Honestly, This mini brick is a good one AND beautiful looking; it has to be one of the most beautifully pressed mini tuo I’ve ever seen. If you buy the 4oz for $24 (20 mini cakes) it is worth it. I had a sample 3 for $5 dollars… that seems a bit too much. That aside, the cake is well made, and you can tell is hand picked, the buds are beautiful and almost completely intact. The pressing is very light so keep that in mind when steeping (so you don’t oversteep past your preferences).
This is from Amy Oh! Thank you, Amy!
Too much fatty food and not enough steamed or raw veggies make ashmanra a dull girl. First there was the frenzy of cooking for Thanksgiving. Then leftovers, but I kept eating turkey and gravy and gravy, and dressing and gravy, and mashed potatoes and gravy, and turkey sandwiches. Finally I ended the leftovers with turkey divan, and talk about fatty food. Oof. So I feel like a slug, and then made it worse by eating two fatty meals today and having leftover Halloween candy for a snack. My tummy is NOT happy with me. I should be in bed, but I am giving my tummy some puerh as an apology for the way I have been treating it.
I didn’t look up the instructions on this and it has been a long time since I had it. I rinsed it for thirty seconds and then gave it a thirty second steep. Hey, don’t beat me! I LOVE most shu puerh at three minutes or more! Ad it wasn’t bad at all. As they said, a little bitter, a little hay-like. Nice and light, though, and I am counting on its ability to soothe a digestive tract.
Second steep was forty seconds, still good, not much different from the first. Now I read the instructions and see it was supposed to be a three second first steep. Seriously? Oh well. But I see Amy’s comment about lowering the temp and steeping longer so I try that.
Now the brew is twice as dark. We have achieved dark oolong color, nice and light caramel color, and the bitterness has increased a little. But there are more layers playing about now. THEREIS also a powerful aftertaste that is so sweet and unexpected! I would love to see how it ages.
I think so far I prefer shu puerh. Do the two types of puerh carry the same benefits?
I’ve been chiseling around on a fairly obscure puerh cake my Father-in-law gave me for a few months now. I’ve been wondering what my next everyday, “workhorse” tea would be. I think I’ve found it!! This little Tou-Cha has all the characteristics of a quality and comfortable puer.
After having a hot bath, everyone in the house is greeted with a fairly concentrated and heavy aroma of leather and moss. My first drinking infusion (after two 30sec rinses) is only 3-4 seconds, producing a caramel colored liquor that is bursting with assertive flavors. This tea penetrates my palate on a couple different levels even on the first infusion. Strong woodsy flavor in the front turns to velvety sweetness on the back of the tongue. Overall a warm comfortable aura envelops me when I’m holding a small cup of this shu.
Second, third and forth infusions:
Because of the short infusions (still mere seconds), this tea builds different, complicated flavors on top of each other. I know they are there because I can taste them. Unfortunately, my palate is not so discriminating as to adequately describe them. They start fairly wild and end exceeding sweet and smooth.
Nostalgia is playing a part in my very favorable review of this tea. A couple of years ago my wife’s Father (who is a fairly well know actor in Malaysia) took us all to a very popular Bak Kut Teh restaurant in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. BKT is a herbal soupy stew that is both delicious and touted as being very nutritious. In a culture where “food is medicine”, an outstanding (and probably expensive) puerh was served with the meal. After commenting on the quality of the tea, I got “the look” from my Father-in-law. The look of recognition that I had finally, after so many years, developed a discerning palate.
This Puerh reminds me a lot of that meal. It begins strong and assertive. After a couple of infusions, a full-bodied mellowing leads into a complex melding of flavor and aroma. Mushroom and leather are the predominate inclinations with hints of cinnamon, and coriander. This tea has amazing endurance, and better yet, it doesn’t get bitter or astringent. However, please remember that I kept all infusions to the bare minimum. Even after 6-7 infusions, they were only 10secs.
This is a quality tea which I highly recommend. I purchased this tea from Pure Puer. The customer service from Mr. Chin was unbeatable and a pleasure. I look forward to dealing with them in the future.
Interesting tea, well worth drinking, but not for the less adventurous among us. After washing and awakening the half toucha I used, the air was filled with a pronounced wild, vegetal aroma with a sweetness bordering on unpleasantness. It was not offensive, but probably would back off some people, but that is as far as it went. We have a horse farm located about 4 miles from a very famous bourbon distillery here in central KY, the aroma of this tea is very reminiscent of that of roasting sour mash from the distillery. Initially strong and perhaps unpleasant, but quickly turning comforting and reassuring that all is as it should be.
First steep – Lt color (think Ginger ale)
– The first taste begins innocently enough, unremarkable, however, when reaching mid-palate, things start to get interesting. A rather unexpected taste begins rising. A green taste, but not of grass, more like arugula,a peppery, vegetal taste. Surprising, yet not unpleasant. The finish is clean while leaving a lingering tingle — no astringency or bitterness.
Overall first infusion: Light color, uneventful beginning, surprising mid-palate flavor with a clean, complete and memorable finish.
2nd infusion: 30 sec.
Darker color, more refined aroma- definitely moving into a more familiar “tea” smell. The taste is still building as if we are travelling deeper into the forest. Woodsy and wild, becoming more complex.
This is not a great tea, but it is a pleasant adventure. It evolves quickly and even after 4 or 5 infusions, changes, albeit predictable, are still occurring. The only truly bad aspect I found was that when this tea cools bitterness appears. Almost to the point of undrinkability.
Not a tea to drink everyday, but good on occasion and I’m sure it would work well with chili or vinegar.
This came from ashmanra. THANKS I can’t find this on pure puerh’s website. I thought I would grab a picture – apparently not. This is interesting. Beyond the horse and saddle leather it has a pepper / ginger bite to it. Underneath that is some interesting floral notes. Another thing I noticed is that several minutes after sipping this I could still taste it and feel its cooling affect on my breath. Very nice!
I chilled my second steep of this and, while it’s still very mild, cold, I’m getting more of that rocky taste. (Again, that’s not bad—it’s just the distinguishing mark of this variety.) My experience with the Great and (Not So) Powerful Os-manthus has been a pleasant one, as well. Citrusy floral, not perfumey floral like heavy jasmine.
On this beastly hot afternoon, thoughts of clear springs and damp caves are wonderful indeed. Took a short country drive after lunch and I saw some french-fried cornfields that nearly made me cry. If you’re a farm kid, you’ll understand.
Our mutual friend ashmanra is helping expand my pu-erh horizons, and tucked a lovely little packet into a card a few days ago.
If I didn’t know what it was, I certainly wouldn’t classify it as a pu-erh. Nice amber color, gentle base (none of that cave-y peat moss stuff) with an orangey finish. Loving it!
(Unrelated and probably not as funny to you as it was to me—-mentioned to my non-teaist teen that I’m drinking pu-erh and he quipped, “Pooh Bear tea? Wouldn’t that be anything with honey in it?” BadumpBUMP.)
I realize I am spoiled with local tea options compared to some other folks. A few weeks ago I was in Rainbow Grocery and noticed they have a bulk tea selection. In the bulk tea jars were a bunch of mini touchas from Pure Puerh! I know they are based in Northern California so I shouldn’t have been too surprised.
This is the other green toucha that I didn’t buy from them at the San Francisco Tea Festival. Now that I have my dedicated Yixing teapot, raw puerhs are becoming a good weekend drink for me. You fill up your teapot and can re-steep many times. This one mini toucha claims you can make 12-14 cups of tea out of it!
Steep #1: After a quick rinse I steeped this for around 20 seconds and got a very light infusion, which is slightly woodsy and a bit sweet. I’m picking up on a light fruity flavor too, like apple. There’s a slight bit of bitterness in the mix but so far I am not finding it too overwhelming. My infusions are fairly small, I’m getting around 4 oz. of tea for each one.
Steep #2: 30 seconds. The color is a bit darker than it was before and a definite smoky aroma is starting to emerge. Still, I am happy that this is not too acrid or rough for my palette. As far as bitter-sweet goes, I can handle it.
Steeps #3 and 4: 15 seconds. I did them together in the same glass mug. The tea is hitting more of a stride here and starting to settle down somewhat. The flavor is getting to be a little more mellow, still woodsy, smoky and slightly sweet but less of a sour quality.
Steeps #4 and 5: at first I thought the bitterness was receding, but as my cup was sitting here cooling off, a big wallop of it hit me when I began to sip on it. Might try to use ½ the touocha next time, 8g is likely too much for the small teapot.
One thing I have noticed about sheng pu-erhs is they are very good for the digestion; I suppose it must be this bitter-sweet and green quality. Without being gross, I find they have an almost purgative effect at times.
I think perhaps this tea could benefit from a little aging, but I have no idea how well touchas age. In any case I will probably not be too tempted to pick up any more of these in the future. It’s a typical young sheng, kinda sour and wild. That’s the nature of the beast you’re dealing with.
This was a swap from AmyOh. Thank you, Amy!
I am going to sound like a sycophant, but I do agree with everything Amy said, and the company description. First, I love the little square, I love the sticker, I love the paper. Nothing to do with the tea, I know, but these are really cool! And I am saving the wrappers to decoupage onto a tin for holding some puerhs.
I experimented with it a bit. I did wash the tuo Cha because it felt quite hard and tightly compressed. The first steel went for 2 minutes, highly contrary to the company instructions but as I changed my parameters I found that there wasn’t a huge difference in the different times and slightly different temps. Hubby said he tasted hay very strongly. I agree that it is bitter, but I didn’t pick up a lot of the sweet aftertaste they mention. When I smell the leaves I am reminded very strongly of Thai restaurants or perhaps Indian cuisine…definitely some exotic cooking spice notes floating around there.
I am new to sheng puerhs, but this one is very different from the one I had from Harney and Sons that is a few years older. I would love to buy some sheng puerhs and put them aside for years and years. Makes me wish I had started this hobby a lot sooner!
Thank you again, Amy! I can’t wait to try the bamboo steamed puerh!
This is quite a tasty shu. The first time I had it I was using very short infusions so today I let it go for about 2 minutes and although the color is dark, it has a sweet aftertaste and is almost fruity, to me this tastes a bit like dates already. Mild with no strange off flavors (see previous notes)
Something else I picked up at the tea festival… I think I got these because I liked the shape – lol. The squares come in a little box and of course, the tea, the paper and the box are all biodegradable which is right up my alley. No plastic – whoop! Pu-erh has a definite advantage in that regard.
I cut this square in half because I wasn’t sure I was up for a strong sheng experience. Then I steeped it for about 1 minute. This tea is very interesting because the top notes are light, sweet and woodsy with some green apple but the bottom notes are slightly sour and bitter. Steeping for shorter periods will definitely help to keep the bitterness under control.
After steeping you can see the leaves start to unfurl which is a definite sign these are not made with leftover crud from the factory floor. For a young sheng it’s nice but I would not recommend steeping this for more than 30 seconds. My second steep at 30 was a bit more palatable…
These folks were at the SF International Tea Fair yesterday so I knew I’d have to stop by. I got a very good introduction to their teas including stories and pictures of where my tea came from right now to the actual trees…
They were serving up samples of this shu so I decided to purchase a cake after trying it. ($33). I was told that “third grade” applies to the size of the leaf used and wasn’t meant to imply that this was a third rate tea.
We steeped some of it up this morning. I may have not been generous enough with the leaf. Since there were two of us I decided to steep this in a teapot and forgo my usual gaiwan method. The first steep we did for 60 seconds and the second for 2 minutes.
This yielded a clear, reddish brown brew that is not as dark as some I’ve tried. I am enjoying it. It’s clean with a nice savory/woodsy/mushroom aroma that is very soothing and somewhat mild. The flavor is very earthy with a bit of nutty flavor like butter pecans. It has a clean and sweet aftertaste I am enjoying so much. This is supposed to develop a date flavor as it ages but I don’t know if I will be able to let it age before I end up drinking it… lol
Overall, very good. If you’d like to try a lighter shu without any smoky, fishy or musty aromas I’d give this one a try for sure.
On other notes I’ve discovered I can use a cheese knife to pry apart my bricks and cakes so at least I won’t be needing to purchase a special puerh knife. :)
Hubby and eldest daughter both drank tea with me tonight. Hooray! When they said they were having tea with me, I asked hubby to pick the tea. He requested this one, but this time we brewed it western style. This is a mild puer, and I love the natural floral/citrus notes added by the osmanthus. That pot went away entirely too fast.
Hubby joined me for tea again last night! Since he didn’t mind the first puerh he tried, I wanted him to give some others a try.
Opening the pouch, I was struck by the fresh citrus-y aroma of these flowers. The dry tea has a lot of petals in it. Steeping it, I found it mild, certainly milder than the puerhs from A Southern Season, without being boring like the one I got from Rishi. Hubby thought it was stronger than the puerh from Teavivre that he tried, but I didn’t think so. He will probably prefer the puerh from Teavivre like my son and his girlfriend.
We steeped this about six times. I am so glad hubby got this one for me. I am really enjoying the addition of osmanthus to puerh!
Another thing has happened that I never thought would happen. A long time ago, when I only had fishy-smelling puerh tea, I liked the taste though not the aroma. I liked puerh tea and especially found it soothing when my tummy was angry. But I said I never woke up in the morning thinking, “Gee, I sure would love a cup of puerh tea right now.” Keemuns or black tea blends always had that honor.
Having now tried Teavivre and Purepuer.com puerh teas, I couldn’t get it off my mind this morning. Since today is tea party day, after all, I wasn’t going to make any tea this morning, but my girls each had a pot in front of them at the table as they did their schoolwork and I caved. This is so good, and this is a resteep, making it such a bargain as well. Warm earth aromas with clean yet horsey leather and the scent of osmanthus peeking through, I think I am becoming a puerh….addict? Snob?Aficionado maybe! I can’t wait to try even more puerhs!
Sob!. It happened. It finally happened! I have been hoping my two oldest kids would start drinking tea. Tonight my son made baked Brie in puff pastry and said, “Mom, maybe you better make some of that tea like we had last night. This is pretty rich and fatty.” I am so happy!
Last night we had Puer from Teavivre. Tonight I thought I would shake things up since it seems I am on a roll getting them to drink tea and I made this one just to expose him to more tea. Dare I hope that soon he will be asking for his own teapot and bag of tuochas to take to school?
Once upon a time, I thought Paris by Harney was the way to convert people to tea, but it didn’t work on my older kids. Of all things, puer was the key! Oldest daughter is drinking mostly green teas, but likes puer more. I shall have to get her some of her own as well!
Oh happy day! And what a great start to the New Year!
Last year, my hubby gave me the bamboo tea tray from this company for Christmas. This year, I received two of their tea sets to use with it.
I must say this set is more beautiful in person than in the pictures, and I loved it in the pictures! The finish is so smooth, the color a bone white, and the lines and contours are captivating. Furthermore, it is perfect for making my oolong and white teas. Since it is ceramic I can use it with more than one kind of tea, while my Yixing set will be reserved for oolong. I absolutely love it, and can not say enough about their great customer service and how much time they took helping my hubby choose pieces of teaware and puer tea, acting as if it was their greatest privilege and joy to do so. They are truly tea lovers.
I hope this works! Here is a link to the set, which is showing as sold out right now.