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My first puer! Or possibly my second – I feel like I may have tried one at Samovar a long time ago, but if I did I can’t remember anything much about it. Also the first tea I’m trying from my swap with Rie!

So, this tea – the dry leaf smells mostly like strawberry candy (a bit artificial, but not in a bad way) and also a bit chocolate-y and earthy. Rie suggested doing a brief rinse, but in my excitement to taste this I completely forgot about it. So no rinse for me.

For the first steep, I (accidentally – the more I get into different kinds of higher-end teas, the more I realize I am terrible at brewing properly) used less-than-boiling water and steeped for about (yep, my attention to detail could use some improvement!) 45 seconds. Flavor-wise, the first steep is mildly – and very pleasantly – earthy. There’s no fishy smell or taste whatsoever, thankfully. I’m not quite getting the forest floor/horse barn kinds of notes I often see mentioned with puers either, but I’d say this one leans (very slightly) in that sort of direction. There’s also a hint of chocolate; fortunately, it’s quite natural-tasting and blends well with the base. A lot of chocolate teas veer too close in flavor to the abomination that is chocolate soda for my liking, and I’m pleased to report that this one does not. This chocolate flavoring is nicely subtle. I’m not really getting any strawberry notes, although the brewed tea does smell rather like strawberry syrup or pie. I see a lot of mentions of strong strawberry flavor in other reviews, so it could be that my less-than-stellar brewing technique is at fault; in addition to what I’ve already mentioned, I suspect I may have ever-so-slightly underleafed. But strawberry or no, the first steep’s very enjoyable. There’s a bit of sweetness and also a bit of astringency, but the latter is no bad thing in my opinion.

Now for the second steep (1:30) – this is not dissimilar to Steep 1, although the earthy notes from the puer are a bit more prominent. The third steep (2:00) I messed up by using too much water. It tastes weak and weirdly sweet. It’s drinkable but not great. I attribute this entirely to user error. Fourth steep (2:30) is a similar deal – I think I killed the leaves with the excess water in the third steep. Oh well; I have enough left in my sample for one more brewing session and I’ll endeavor to be more attentive when I use it.

Thanks very much to Rie for sending this sample! This is probably going on my list for my next Lupicia order, and it’s definitely made me want to delve deeper into the world of puer.

Rie

(-) Glad you were able to try it already!
The strawberry/more flavor seems to be best with longer infusions (starting at 1:30min), I think the longer infusions are a flavored puer thing.

greenteafairy

I’ll definitely try longer infusions next time! And even without much strawberry, I did really enjoy it.

Rie

Sounds great! :D
I just hope the rest of the Puer world is on the same level (;-;) The horror stories are scary, huh? :D;

greenteafairy

Very! I can get behind the forest-floor flavors (in theory, anyway!), and even the horse barn thing might be okay. But fishy tea… just no. Have you branched out into the world of unflavored (or less flavored) puers much?

Rie

The first time I brewed the C&S puer that ‘horse barn’ label was ringing through every sip like a nightmare (LOL). But now I kind of ‘get it’, so I’ll just keep trusting… No fish, no fish!

I haven’t had an unflavored Puer yet, I have some samples but didn’t have enough reason to open them because I loved drinking this C&S so much. I’ve set aside time to try one today, now that my C&S is gone. :c What about you? Any straight puer planned?

greenteafairy

I don’t have any straight puer, but I do plan to pick some up once I work through my stash a bit more – I know I don’t have as many teas as a lot of people, but even seeing my cupboard count inch toward 50 is getting me nervous! I’m not ready to commit to a large cake, or to anything really pricey, but I’ve identified a couple of options from Teavivre and Upton that seem like decent places to get started. I’ll be curious to know how you like the one you’re planning to try today! And yeah, that C&S is really good! I probably shouldn’t order from Lupicia again for about six months, but I’ll definitely be tempted once I finish that sample.

Rie

Haha, yeah, I’m nervous about the same (approaching 50). I do have a good selection in my stash as it is though, so I’m not in need of anything new. But then a lot of it is oolong, which I only brew gongfu less than 100mL at a time… hnn.

In that case, I’ll brew that Teavivre Puer today. :) What Puers are you drawn to in particular, just at face value? And yes, Lupicia is so tempting, I love the company so much. ;-; I already have a cart ready haha ;;

greenteafairy

I haven’t put a ton of thought into future puer selection, but I’ve been eyeing this one (http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/11847-china-pu-erh-tuo-cha-size-1-zh30) and/or this one (http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/26555-mengku-palace-ripened-golden-buds-loose-pu-erh-tea-2007). Mostly just because neither sound very fishy, or otherwise very intense. The Mandala Phatty Cake seems really good, but I don’t think I’m ready to spend $20 on an untried puer just yet. I’d also like to try Lupicia’s Sunny Fruits puer. Which Teavivre puer do you have?

Rie

They seem solid! I wish I had the Mengku Ripened Golden Buds 2007 one from Teavivre too. I have the Fengqing Ripened Golden Buds 2005. ^ -^

I plan to pick up Lupicia’s Sunny Fruits on my next order (semi-near future), I can send you a sample of that if you’d like. :D

Shelley_Lorraine

I must put in a good word for the Organic loose shu pu-erh from the Tea Spot. I am the only one who has reviewed it on Steepster and I know that the Tea Spot isn’t one of the trendy top sellers among most of you, but you should consider it; if only because they sell a 5 serving sample for $4 (or for $2 more you can get a small tin and ~10 servings). This was the very first pu-erh that I ever had and I’ve had quite a few nasties after it. I think if I didn’t start with this one, I would probably never give pu-erh a second chance. lol. I can’t comment for its gourmet pu-erh connoisseur quality, but I do like it! And so does most of my family.

greenteafairy

Rie – I would love to swap for a sample of the Sunny Fruits when you get it!

Shelley_Lorraine – That sounds great, especially the part about the $4 sample. I’m not too familiar with the Tea Spot, but am always interested in recommendations for less hyped sellers. Going on my shopping list now.

Rie

Thanks for the recommendation, Shelley! Need all the help for Puer possible, haha.

Sure thing, Emily! Can’t wait till then. :’D

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Rie

(-) Glad you were able to try it already!
The strawberry/more flavor seems to be best with longer infusions (starting at 1:30min), I think the longer infusions are a flavored puer thing.

greenteafairy

I’ll definitely try longer infusions next time! And even without much strawberry, I did really enjoy it.

Rie

Sounds great! :D
I just hope the rest of the Puer world is on the same level (;-;) The horror stories are scary, huh? :D;

greenteafairy

Very! I can get behind the forest-floor flavors (in theory, anyway!), and even the horse barn thing might be okay. But fishy tea… just no. Have you branched out into the world of unflavored (or less flavored) puers much?

Rie

The first time I brewed the C&S puer that ‘horse barn’ label was ringing through every sip like a nightmare (LOL). But now I kind of ‘get it’, so I’ll just keep trusting… No fish, no fish!

I haven’t had an unflavored Puer yet, I have some samples but didn’t have enough reason to open them because I loved drinking this C&S so much. I’ve set aside time to try one today, now that my C&S is gone. :c What about you? Any straight puer planned?

greenteafairy

I don’t have any straight puer, but I do plan to pick some up once I work through my stash a bit more – I know I don’t have as many teas as a lot of people, but even seeing my cupboard count inch toward 50 is getting me nervous! I’m not ready to commit to a large cake, or to anything really pricey, but I’ve identified a couple of options from Teavivre and Upton that seem like decent places to get started. I’ll be curious to know how you like the one you’re planning to try today! And yeah, that C&S is really good! I probably shouldn’t order from Lupicia again for about six months, but I’ll definitely be tempted once I finish that sample.

Rie

Haha, yeah, I’m nervous about the same (approaching 50). I do have a good selection in my stash as it is though, so I’m not in need of anything new. But then a lot of it is oolong, which I only brew gongfu less than 100mL at a time… hnn.

In that case, I’ll brew that Teavivre Puer today. :) What Puers are you drawn to in particular, just at face value? And yes, Lupicia is so tempting, I love the company so much. ;-; I already have a cart ready haha ;;

greenteafairy

I haven’t put a ton of thought into future puer selection, but I’ve been eyeing this one (http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/11847-china-pu-erh-tuo-cha-size-1-zh30) and/or this one (http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/26555-mengku-palace-ripened-golden-buds-loose-pu-erh-tea-2007). Mostly just because neither sound very fishy, or otherwise very intense. The Mandala Phatty Cake seems really good, but I don’t think I’m ready to spend $20 on an untried puer just yet. I’d also like to try Lupicia’s Sunny Fruits puer. Which Teavivre puer do you have?

Rie

They seem solid! I wish I had the Mengku Ripened Golden Buds 2007 one from Teavivre too. I have the Fengqing Ripened Golden Buds 2005. ^ -^

I plan to pick up Lupicia’s Sunny Fruits on my next order (semi-near future), I can send you a sample of that if you’d like. :D

Shelley_Lorraine

I must put in a good word for the Organic loose shu pu-erh from the Tea Spot. I am the only one who has reviewed it on Steepster and I know that the Tea Spot isn’t one of the trendy top sellers among most of you, but you should consider it; if only because they sell a 5 serving sample for $4 (or for $2 more you can get a small tin and ~10 servings). This was the very first pu-erh that I ever had and I’ve had quite a few nasties after it. I think if I didn’t start with this one, I would probably never give pu-erh a second chance. lol. I can’t comment for its gourmet pu-erh connoisseur quality, but I do like it! And so does most of my family.

greenteafairy

Rie – I would love to swap for a sample of the Sunny Fruits when you get it!

Shelley_Lorraine – That sounds great, especially the part about the $4 sample. I’m not too familiar with the Tea Spot, but am always interested in recommendations for less hyped sellers. Going on my shopping list now.

Rie

Thanks for the recommendation, Shelley! Need all the help for Puer possible, haha.

Sure thing, Emily! Can’t wait till then. :’D

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Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!

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