Let me say that this is my first time trying Pu-erh and it was certainly an… experience. I’ve heard a lot about this blend from Samovar and was pretty excited to try. In terms of smell, there really wasn’t too much until the leaves were wet; the dry leaves smelt earthy but weren’t strong by any means. I followed the suggestion Samovar gave to rinse the leaves before drinking, so I tossed my first steep. After I did that, the smell was much stronger in my infuser. To be honest, at first, I was a little put off by the smell; it was extremely fishy. However, after the second steep, the smell turned into more of an earthy, wet-forest smell. It was certainly different than any tea I’ve tried before.
The color was certainly new to me. I’ve never seen a tea so dark, almost coffee-like in color. It looked like a very bold tea, and certainly upon drinking I came to discover it tasted as dark as it looked. It had a very, very earthy taste to it. I steeped for 3:30 the first time and found that the taste was extremely dark, but smooth. It wasn’t bitter; just a very deep flavor. It wasn’t light or bright by any means. As I drank more, and the tea cooled down, I started to get a faint sweet aftertaste. At first, I’ll admit, I didn’t think I liked it. I thought it was too strong and foul-smelling. But now, seeing as I’ve had a few cups of it, I kind of want more. There is a sweet taste lingering on my tongue. I ended up trying a bunch of different steep times, again at 5 minutes, 6 and 7. I found that 6 minutes was the best for me. The tea didn’t taste as dark or dirt-like and was a little bit sweeter. Like a dark fruit sweet.
-Very Dark tea
-Smells of wet-wood, and a little fishy for the first couple of steeps. This smell lets less and less fishy over time.
-Extremely dark taste; much more earthy than any green tea I’ve had (I like to think of it as a very dark Hojicha), taste seems to brighten up more if you let it steep for longer.
-Easily get a lot of steeps out of a serving, and your cup will not get more bitter as a result of adding more steep time.
-Very different tea. I’m excited to try the Blood Orange Pu-erh blend. I think citrus will work nicely with this taste.
Everyone should try this at least once in their tea-drinking adventures. I seemed to enjoy it more and more as I kept drinking it.