78
drank Sheng Pu'erh by Currently Unknown
2367 tasting notes

So one of my roommates (not the aforementioned roommate I often share tea with) is Chinese, and I frequently see her drinking tea, but made nothing of it until one time I saw her breaking off a piece of a round brick of tea to steep. I thought it was kind of cool, but still didn’t think too much about it. She called it black tea; I didn’t question it. Until today. It occurred to me that what she was drinking was probably pu’erh – so I caught her and asked, and sure enough, it is! Apparently her family went into an asian grocery and found the dustiest-looking box of pu’erh they had to buy. To each their own; that wouldn’t scream buy me to me! She offered to let me try a piece and I happily accepted – I love trying new things! She tells me that the way she drinks it is to brew it in boiling water and leave it in the cup as she drinks it, so it gets quite strong. I opted to use half the amount she usually does, and stick it in a teaball so I could remove it after a few minutes.

As it was steeping, I noticed some mildly fishy smells coming from it, along with some rich earthiness. Not unpleasant. Either now that I’m aware that fishiness can be a characteristic of pu’erhs, it concerns me less, or I’ve just grown used to it (from my wealth of experience trying two flavoured pu’erhs from DavidsTea), I’m not sure.

Taste-wise, it’s quite pleasant. Definitely earthy, but nothing like the dirt that the bagged pu’erh I tried a couple days ago was. It’s kind of reminding me of the piece inside a pistachio shell, not part of the edible nut, but coating it and attaching it to the hard shell. Er, I should probably be able to figure out what that part is botanically, but I’m really tired right now. REALLY tired. You’d never know that I just drank a whack of caffeinated tea.

Anyways, that’s what it reminds me of. I’m not tasting fishiness, and that aroma has pretty much dissipated. This is definitely a different sort of tea, but it’s growing on me with every sip. A nice change from flavoured. I’m now looking even more forward to my Verdant order arriving!!

I still have the other half-chunk she gave me; I think I’ll try that one more gong-fu style, including one or two rinses to begin with, since that seems to be the norm with pu’erhs.

I took a picture of the little box; I will try to post it on here (maybe from my phone?!) and perhaps someone can tell me what it is! Or where it’s from! Or something!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

generally I don’t experience fishiness in sheng pu-erhs

Kittenna

Not even smell? Hmm, it definitely smelled mildly fishy to me. Like I said though, I have no idea of its origins; the box is pictured. It says ‘sheng’ on it, so I made the assumption that that was what it was.

TeaBrat

usually not…

Kittenna

Oh well, this is the first straight one I’ve tried so I really didn’t know what to expect! It was pleasant enough in flavour though, so I’ll try more and then perhaps bring my experiences back to this one.

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TeaBrat

generally I don’t experience fishiness in sheng pu-erhs

Kittenna

Not even smell? Hmm, it definitely smelled mildly fishy to me. Like I said though, I have no idea of its origins; the box is pictured. It says ‘sheng’ on it, so I made the assumption that that was what it was.

TeaBrat

usually not…

Kittenna

Oh well, this is the first straight one I’ve tried so I really didn’t know what to expect! It was pleasant enough in flavour though, so I’ll try more and then perhaps bring my experiences back to this one.

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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