Not gonna lie…I’m scared of pu-erh.
It may be that I should’ve waited to try this until after whatever uplifting, familiarizing, reassuring experience might follow the arrival of my Samovar order sometime later today, since I purchased what I understand is a very forgiving ‘starter’ kind of pu-erh, and it might’ve set me down the road to not having a mental block about the stuff…but it was exceedingly early when I sat bolt upright in bed for no good reason (3am) and I needed something cozy. I needed chai. I wasn’t completely willing to go the distance and do the yerba mate chai thing; I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll need that mega-dose of caffeine much later today. This was lingering along with a handful of other tea samples in my Golden Moon basket…so…
Here we are.
I can’t get past the idea that something about this tea smells a little bit…funky, and yet I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It seems to hide directly behind the hint of cinnamon, just out of view, and worry me. I have a creeping feeling that it is…socks. Or something like socks. Maybe someone’s socks after they were walking around in the dirt. Or…or…not socks. Something. This is definitely not the chai experience to which I’ve become accustomed, and I am having a hard time telling whether or not this is psychosomatic or genuine.
I tried for quite some time to finish my cup, and in the end I couldn’t…a real rarity for me. I wonder if I ruined this tea for myself by being so wary of pu-erh; I wonder if I wouldn’t have liked it better had the qualities of the pu-erh flavor not been somewhat masked by spices, so that the vague hints of them that I was receiving were immediately associated with a pu-erh experience that I enjoyed, rather than striking me as, and I stand by this assessment, a faint impression of socks.
It isn’t terrible, but it sort of unnerved me. Hopefully later today I’ll have my first cup of really good pu-erh, and this will all rectify itself.