92
drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
889 tasting notes

So other than in The Skinny, I have never had a pu’erh where the pu’erh is the main component, and am anxious to try it. I have a sample from Verdant of the 07 Xingxang I believe, and I also ordered the big 250 g brick of Old Comrades back during Cyber Monday. But I have been nervous to try them yet. And I’ve had a sample of this sitting here waiting patiently until I was ready. And tonight, I am going for it!

The dry smell is soo heady and spicy! Yum! It’s fiery and beckoning, I don’t know how to describe it other than spice. I did a rinse with boiling water, and then steeped for 1 min. In my infuser, I put a big hunk of the pu’erh, and tried to get about a tsp of the other ingredients as well.

I will admit, once removing the steeper and smelling the leaves, I got a lot of spices, but a scent I at first couldn’t place…then I found it! It was like a cedar planked salmon, mmm, then I thought what fishy? No way, it was like a yummy roasting dinner in the oven type of fish, and that may have partially been due to my super short rinse (not an expert at that yet at all haha). However, no fishiness AT ALL in the smell of the cup, just in the infuser. Mmm, the tea itself has a light spice, and I can smell that ginger…yes, I love ginger.

This tastes so good. It’s very difficult for me to distinguish what the pu’erh on its own tastes like as I haven’t had any straight pu’erh, but this tea is realllly good. It’s spicy, and warming, and yummy. It feels like I am drinking a savory meal almost. I do get a slight tingling on my tongue which is very intriguing, as I read about it but did not expect to notice it as much. There’s cinnamon too, and a bit of sweet to go with the warm spice of the peppercorns.

Overall, I am very excited to have tried this, and I like it! Yay! Hopefully I can get the nerve to try my straight pu’erh soon now that it’s not as scary. I just looked on Verdant’s site, and this is sold out, so I can only hope it comes back so I can get either another sample or maybe an oz to play with. Meanwhile, I will enjoy re-steeping this all evening.

ETA: On my third cup of this and it is still absolutely delicious. The caffeine isn’t messing with my stomach at all, I actually think the ginger and pu’erh combo are perfect for it! This is so tasty, I want more, but I must sleep at some point tonight haha.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Have no fear, I was a nervous wreck the first time I began with puerh and I didn’t know who to ask about it. I kept looking for vidos and instructions. Now, bah it’s easy. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me or ashmanra or mrmopar or look at videos on verdant or mandala websites.
Rule 1 is, always rinse it for 20-30 seconds in boiling water and toss the water. I use 20-30 second steeps, some people like shorter, some longer. You can experiment. Some sweeten the puerh, some add milk and drink it like coffee. Up to you!

MissLena

I’ll be sure to ask you guys as I delve deeper into this tea :) i see my first error, i just rinsed for about 10 seconds. Verdant is very good for videos, i’ll have to check out mandala too, haha, i’ll probably want to order more tea though! Once I delve in further I’ll experiment with sweetners too :) thanks for the support!!

Bonnie

I was talking about the other tea’s you hadn’t tried yet, the pure pu-erh’s not the blends.

MissLena

Oh yes oops I meant ‘this tea’ as in puerh in general, hmm speaking of which, how would I go about breaking into my brick of old comrades? You can pm me if you want :)

Bonnie

Some puerh is hard and some flaky. If you have a sharp knife (like a steak knife) find a loose area at the side. Use a cutting board with a cloth under so it won’t slide (don’t want you to get cut). Begin to PRY the knife sideways into the brick then lift up, like sheets of filo or puff pastry. The object is not to make lots of pu-erh dust or to create broken leaves. You want ‘sections’ of pu-erh for brewing. (Some dust is going to happen, don’t worry)

MissLena

Ok I will have to try that this weekend when I have lots of time to devote to tasting and preparing it. Thanks, I’m excited I finally know how to break into the beast! :)

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Comments

Bonnie

Have no fear, I was a nervous wreck the first time I began with puerh and I didn’t know who to ask about it. I kept looking for vidos and instructions. Now, bah it’s easy. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me or ashmanra or mrmopar or look at videos on verdant or mandala websites.
Rule 1 is, always rinse it for 20-30 seconds in boiling water and toss the water. I use 20-30 second steeps, some people like shorter, some longer. You can experiment. Some sweeten the puerh, some add milk and drink it like coffee. Up to you!

MissLena

I’ll be sure to ask you guys as I delve deeper into this tea :) i see my first error, i just rinsed for about 10 seconds. Verdant is very good for videos, i’ll have to check out mandala too, haha, i’ll probably want to order more tea though! Once I delve in further I’ll experiment with sweetners too :) thanks for the support!!

Bonnie

I was talking about the other tea’s you hadn’t tried yet, the pure pu-erh’s not the blends.

MissLena

Oh yes oops I meant ‘this tea’ as in puerh in general, hmm speaking of which, how would I go about breaking into my brick of old comrades? You can pm me if you want :)

Bonnie

Some puerh is hard and some flaky. If you have a sharp knife (like a steak knife) find a loose area at the side. Use a cutting board with a cloth under so it won’t slide (don’t want you to get cut). Begin to PRY the knife sideways into the brick then lift up, like sheets of filo or puff pastry. The object is not to make lots of pu-erh dust or to create broken leaves. You want ‘sections’ of pu-erh for brewing. (Some dust is going to happen, don’t worry)

MissLena

Ok I will have to try that this weekend when I have lots of time to devote to tasting and preparing it. Thanks, I’m excited I finally know how to break into the beast! :)

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Bio

Hello all, I’m a newly graduated electrical engineer as of 2013 (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it’s excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte haha)

I enjoy a variety of herbal, white, green, oolong and black teas. I have also tried a few pu’erhs and matcha I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, but I find that in moderation I can still indulge in black teas and matcha.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I recently tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.

I am happy to say that my caffeine intolerance seems to be subsiding! This is allowing me to try a wider variety of teas :)

Location

Canada

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