This is my first straight pu’erh! A big thank you to David Duckler for including this in my last order, haha definitely a hint that I need to try pu’erh!

So this tea, I didn’t know exactly the best way to steep it. I read through Verdant’s site and the reviews on steepster, and decided to go with Bonnie’s parameters as I was worried it would end up pretty strong after a 2 min steep.

So I rinsed with boiling water for 30 seconds, then steeped for 40 seconds. I can see why the smell can be off-putting to some people, I found it actually not bad! Reminds me of Port Alberni, with the slightly fishy scent and a hint of musty woods.

Ehhh, I’m not sure about the taste yet though. I think I may have done something not quite right with the steeping, maybe my leaf ratio or something. The water may have been a bit too hot too? I get the caramel taste and saltiness in there, but mostly near the end of the taste. The initial taste is a bit musty and hard to describe, not quite what I was expecting, but this is my first pu’erh, so I’m assuming this is a normal thing, or I may have done something weird? Haha, it’s not unpleasant, but I have no idea how to rate until I try a few more steepings and maybe play with the leaf ratio and steep times a little bit, although I think this was a good steep time rather than the 2 mins to begin with, it’s definitely not too strong :)

Overall, very interesting, this tea intrigues me. I want to experiment and be able to distinguish a few more flavors. I just need to extract that caramel aftertaste a wee bit more, and this will be rockin’. It’s probably more my untrained palate that’s messing with this tea. I’m very happy I got the nerve to try it though, and will re-steep this afternoon and keep you posted on further developments. No rating for now, as I am new to this type of tea and don’t know what to rate it.

ETA: I tried adding a little wee dab of sugar to the latter half of my cup, this made the caramel more pronounced and definitely brought out the sweetness of the tea. Not sure which I prefer though, I think it was more interesting without sugar!

ETA again: Second steeping (also at 40 s) is a lot better, in my opinion. More smooth and mellow, and a bit more of the caramel flavors poking through. Maybe next time I will try 2 rinses just to see what that does for the flavor. Also, I am feeling quite excellent drinking this tea. It is calming me, maybe grounding is the word. I am pleased with this tea and am excited to explore further into the world of pu’erh.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Good that you are experimenting. I usually don’t add anything until the 4th or 5th steep if I’m going to do it. Some Pu-erh’s are better without anything and some seem to smile with a little sugar or milk. Never hurts to see what works for you. It’s how I fell in love with it.

MissLena

It’s such an awesome tea to play with! I could definitely see myself potentially getting attached to puerh as well, it has a very unique flavor.

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Comments

Bonnie

Good that you are experimenting. I usually don’t add anything until the 4th or 5th steep if I’m going to do it. Some Pu-erh’s are better without anything and some seem to smile with a little sugar or milk. Never hurts to see what works for you. It’s how I fell in love with it.

MissLena

It’s such an awesome tea to play with! I could definitely see myself potentially getting attached to puerh as well, it has a very unique flavor.

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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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