22 Tasting Notes
Velvety texture and earthy, this one has some nice herbal complexity to it. The flavor profile is similar to coffee from Sumatra with a lingering and somewhat juicy finish. The aroma recalls afternoons spent exploring the storage rooms in the barns back on the farm. There an odd dusty component as well.
Experiment Note: Butter Tea
I’ve been curious about Tibetan Butter Tea for awhile; having slowly schooled my Southern self away for drinking the heavily sweetened tea I grew up with, it seemed like it might be fun to try something in the opposite direction. A raging sore throat today made the concept of something hot and full of fats seem particularly appealing so with directions pulled from the internet and no real concern for authenticity and played with the idea. (based on instructions found here: http://www.yowangdu.com/tibet/tibetan-food-recipes/po-chu.html)
I decided to use the second steeping of leaves from the Ancient Trees as the use of a brick tea seemed appropriate, and as Lipton was the suggested tea, something rather flat might be just the ticket. I boiled the tea for about four and a half minutes, strained out the leaves, added milk and butter and about three pinches of salt, and brought it back to a boil, whisking the mixture briskly in place of churning.
The tea ended up with a beautiful rose color and fun layer of foam on top. The flavor was actually pleasant, and I will say that it was very soothing for the sore throat, but no amount of telling myself to think of it as more of a broth than a tea could convince my Southern brain to accept this a sipping beverage…I am, however, excited by the prospect of using this as a base for a soup. I just have to figure out what to put in it.
I rescued a tin of this that had “expired” while I was working at Peets with the sidelong comment to my manager (a tea geek) that I thought pu-erh’s were intended to be aged. Insert tank here about how Peets is a coffee company that sells fair to middling tea and a warning to not judge all pu-erh teas by this one. One co-worker commented that he didn’t really like the earthy taste.
Undaunted, I pressed on. Indeed, the flavor of this tea is earthy — one might describe it as the taste of the fields. It’s not, however, an unpleasant taste. Both the texture and the flavor are imminently smooth and thick, which is in my opinion a great quality for a rainy day tea. Probably my favorite aspect of this tea is the color — a rich red when brewed. It’s simply enjoyable to look at.
That said, the flavor profile is very simple and rather flat, which keeps this from being a tea that I would recommend strongly or one that I drink with any frequency. The tea hasn’t sold me on itself; it has left me eager to try other pu-erhs.