I haven’t had any tangerine-stuffed Pu Erh since 2013 New Year’s Eve. I remember getting questions by my friends in a “what in earth is that” fashion but as I explained them how the tea got inside the tangerine they gladly accepted to try it. Some expected full flavour of tangerine, but in the end everyone was at least glad to have tried it.
About two months ago I saw this tea introduced at Teavivre and I didn’t wait long to order a sample along with some other recently introduced teas. I got this Pu Erh with some broken tangerine peel and it was quite unusual to me that the label said ‘steep 6 to 8 minutes’. My guess was that it’s meant for western-style steeping, in a large tea pot. I used one sample bag (10 gr) with my 250ml borosilicate glass teapot and set timer for 6 minutes.
First steep had a really deep black tone to it (due to 6-minute steep) with red-brown rim in my white porcelain cup. At the top there was a certain herbaceous, thyme-like note. With first sip I got a mild sweetness head on, which soon dissipated and morphed into very thick and mouthful molassy sensation with tad bitter end. Not long after swallowing the sweetness reemerge and sits for a short period. After a few sips the senses get acquainted with the bitter element which blends in with the rest and gets almost unnoticeable. Tangerine element is present, blends in very nice but can’t catch up with the rest when it comes to intensity.
As the brew cooled down I noticed more of freshness along with minty aftertaste, and what makes this tea uncommon when it comes to Pu Erh is that it didn’t had any elements associated to earth or dirt, but wood.
Second infusion (8 minutes) came out a bit weaker but with more balanced elements – tangerine was more prominent and minty aftertaste was ever-present.
In conclusion, a very good tea for it’s type (Tangerine-stuffed Pu Erh), which can get pricey and fishy in taste depending of where you get it (this one wasn’t).
Flavors: Citrus, Mint, Molasses, Sweet, Thyme, Wood