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My first pu-erh! I’ve been very excited for this moment. All the descriptions of it sounded exactly like something I’d like, given my inclination for smells of musty basement, dirt and wet leaves.

Smelled like wet leaves in the bag, the rinse stage brought out much more of a, what my mother aptly described as, “bike tire air” smell. I know some people brew this gongfu style but I was kind of lazy about that. I used half a french press of water for one square, poured out some of the water at 45 seconds for a first taste. Yep, taste like bike tire air. But not unpleasantly! After the 4 minute-ish mark I poured the rest of it into my cup. My mother uncharitably described it as “still bike tire with some outhouse mixed in.” I had more positive connotations of decomposing log and musty shrooms. Pretty much exactly what I’d expect old wet tea leaves to taste like, but in the best possible way.
there’s some bitterness too that I noticed more as the tea cooled, but it’s not overpowering or harsh. It actually goes well with the earthy taste. A second steep brought out more earthy flavors and the rubbery tire taste was much less perceptible. Third steep is starting to lose intensity, but is still enjoyable.

Definitely looking forward to my next pu-erh experiences!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Alton Brown’s Good Eats tea episode was my awakening
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npFAFX04ROE
Prior to that I was a very casual tea drinker (a coffee love, really), drinking a Sleepytime or berry-flavored black tea from a tea bag when the inclination struck. That episode helped me get a grip on the basics of tea (like..what’s an oolong?) and inspired me to start buying loose teas. First loose leaf buy/love affair: Twinings Earl Grey. I love experiencing the depth and variety of beers (faves are coffee stouts, hefeweizens and a citrusy IPA) but an unabashed love of beer has its downsides. It’s so exciting to discover a world with seemingly unlimited depth and variety without the negative side effects (as long as I switch to herbal before nightime). And it satisfies my oral/hand fixation!

Along other taste avenues, I’m currently exploring the vast array of delicious Vietnamese food we have here in San Diego. You can also find me wandering the aisles of the many asian grocery stores, usually with a basket overflowing in exotic greens.

Other hobbies include taking closeup pictures of plants, especially weeds, and reading too much about things unrelated to the advancement of my career.

Location

San Diego

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