69
drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
403 tasting notes

I was looking forward to trying this one, never having had a pu-erh chai before. It smells like I expected, earthy and cinnamony. Drunk plain, it’s a little on the bitter/spicy side, but the cinnamon and cardamom flavors come through well. A little milk is nice; sweetener would likely help but I’m resisting. I can’t quite decide whether this is good, and will grow on me, or just too strange; I wouldn’t buy more at this point, but I’ll drink what I have. I’m curious to see how well it resteeps, though there was enough in my sample for two solid cups.

ETA: I had the first two steeps (2 and 3 minutes) with milk, to soften the spices a little. The 3rd and 4th I’ve drunk plain, and I like them that way. The spices are milder by now, and the sweetness of the pu-erh is coming through more. It reminds me of harvest parties and field trips – drinking hot apple cider in a barn; it probably helps that it’s cold and rainy out today.

Bumping the rating on this one for resteepability and versatility.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

I didn’t try this plain. I can’t imagine I’d like it that way. I’m pretty much completely won over to the stovetop method for anything having to do with chai now, to the point where I’d probably choose not to drink chai if I couldn’t make it on the stovetop.

teabird

Yeah, I don’t think I’d choose to drink it plain normally; I was trying to compare it to both other pu-erhs and other chais here, but I think it does better as a chai. The spices cancel out the pu-erh sweetness all too well, though it is re-steeping a little milder. I should try the other half of the sample on the stove top though…

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__Morgana__

I didn’t try this plain. I can’t imagine I’d like it that way. I’m pretty much completely won over to the stovetop method for anything having to do with chai now, to the point where I’d probably choose not to drink chai if I couldn’t make it on the stovetop.

teabird

Yeah, I don’t think I’d choose to drink it plain normally; I was trying to compare it to both other pu-erhs and other chais here, but I think it does better as a chai. The spices cancel out the pu-erh sweetness all too well, though it is re-steeping a little milder. I should try the other half of the sample on the stove top though…

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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