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Kept hearing about Pu-erh tea, so thought I would give it a try. Opened the package and smelled a bit of a musty smell. At first I wrote it off to the smell of the box. Then I opened the individual sachet and poured hot water into my mug, and stepped away. After a minute or two, while walking around the kitchen, I smelled something that made me think that my dog had had an accident (#2) in his crate — seriously. (EDIT: Now I can’t think of anything but calling it “poo-echh” tea. Because that was very nearly my first reaction.) Then I realized that the odor was coming from the tea! Smelling the tea in the mug more closely, I detected an odor that smelled like a cross between wet rawhide/wet leather and horse manure/hay bales. It really does smell like a horse barn. As for the taste, it also has a bit of a musky taste, but not nearly as strong as the odor. Can’t say that the taste is totally unpleasant, but I really can’t imagine having a craving for this tea. Tried to add some milk and sugar to it, and yes, it did stand up to the additions, but I can’t say that it really improved the flavor, and certainly didn’t improve the odor. The flavor reminds me of wet earth and moss, or at least how I imagine wet earth and moss would taste. Is it terrible? No. Drinkable? Yes, but not particularly pleasing to the nose or palate. Frankly, not sure why people rave about this stuff, but then, I didn’t like Lapsang Souchong either. Just wish I had spent my $5 on a different black tea, perhaps an Assam or English Breakfast tea.

Probably going to willingly swap this tea to anyone who likes Pu-erh tea or wants to try it. I know, I’ve done a marvelous job of selling it, haven’t I? :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec
shotwell

Tried a second cup, just to see if the first was a fluke. Still tastes/smells like horse. Seriously. Horse.

Emilie

Did you try rinsing it first? I’ve had pu-erh that was crawfish flavored unless you rinsed it in hot water for 15 seconds or so before steeping

shotwell

@Emilie: No, didn’t try rinsing it first — it’s a bagged tea in a sealed packet, so didn’t even consider that as an option, frankly. (Maybe I’ll try that before I give it all away. Worth a shot, although I generally feel like if I buy a bagged tea, I ought to be able to go directly from bag to cup without a rinse or other prep.) Will give it a try and report back!

Emilie

Ah, I have no clue how it works with bagged tea but good luck!

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shotwell

Tried a second cup, just to see if the first was a fluke. Still tastes/smells like horse. Seriously. Horse.

Emilie

Did you try rinsing it first? I’ve had pu-erh that was crawfish flavored unless you rinsed it in hot water for 15 seconds or so before steeping

shotwell

@Emilie: No, didn’t try rinsing it first — it’s a bagged tea in a sealed packet, so didn’t even consider that as an option, frankly. (Maybe I’ll try that before I give it all away. Worth a shot, although I generally feel like if I buy a bagged tea, I ought to be able to go directly from bag to cup without a rinse or other prep.) Will give it a try and report back!

Emilie

Ah, I have no clue how it works with bagged tea but good luck!

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