Yay! I was so very excited to receive this order a few days ago from Verdant. After reading what seems like volumes of reviews and snippets around the web, I was finally going to try my first Pu’er! Now enough blabbering, it’s time to set the tone..
Mid-mornings in Colorado during this time of year are very centering in and of themselves. Warm sunlight that basks without baking and the slightest of constant breezes are enough to turn my feet into lead when I am sitting on the back porch facing the front range of the Rockies. It was on just the right kind of in-between sort of morning that I came to know my first Pu’er.
Measuring 2.6g into the glass gaiwan, I let a rinse course through the leaves twice. 4 seconds and zero breaths later I sat holding a cup of the lightest of amber colored odysseys. And then it began.
The first steep coated my mouth in ambience, it was an overture of something indefinable. By the second, there was a sparkling tingle that held what I can only describe as a memory of a vanilla wafer. Not the taste itself, mind you, but the way your mind creates a flavor when you think back on having tasted something. The third, fourth, and fifth took the memory and made it real. A taste that matches what cedar planks smell of continued to build just behind the vanilla and overtook it by the sixth, as the vanilla wafer retracted into a wider sweetness that lost any defining characteristic but presented most openly on the exhale. Seven through ten were muddled in my mind as my thoughts strayed from concentration on what I was drinking to chasing fleeting ruminations on the patchy cloud patterns and a passing squirrel. Strange how this cup makes it both incredibly easy and incredibly hard to focus!
If this is what I can expect from Pu’er going forward, I believe I will have to examine it in a far different light from other teas. No rating on this one though – seems like bad form to rate the first.
EDIT After trying several others and gaining even just a small amount of perspective, it doesn’t seem fair to Verdant not to rate this one as it really is worth your consideration!