It’s no secret that I’m a Puerh loving woman!
There is something about Puerh that takes me to a place so far beyond myself and expands my vision. Yes it’s tea, but there is a bond with the earth that is mystical.
Ever changing and without end.
This tea was interesting to look at. Pressed into quarter sized coins and simply beautiful. It smelled promising making me remember being a child playing in the mud and making canals for small handmade wooden boats in my backyard. I chewed on sour grass.
After 1 quick wash I did a 1 minute steep in my clay gaiwan. The Puerh Coin had remained pretty solid and the liquor brownish and mild tasting. Not bad tasting, spicy like cinnamon bark and sweet. I was not overly impressed.
The second steep on would be…10 seconds!
What a color change! The liquor would never be brown again! Such a beautiful auburn color that little more red tone and it could be mistaken for a Sangiovese!
The flavor was richer and had more pepper than at first. My lips tingled…my mouth tingled with the spice and then it drifted away before hitting the back of my palate.
Later the flavor changed to a sour, french roast coffee bean taste. The tannin increased. This was not something I cared for.
By the 4th infusion a mellow comforting sensibility began still with sweet flavor and juice but astringent. There was a little earth, a little pepper.
I thought about how Puerh makes me think about the earth in so many ways. By earth I mean the ground itself! How the dirt or mud smells. Shivering on a riverbank wrapped in a towel. The taste of dirt and melting M&M’s in my hands as a kid. Boots and puddles.
The scene in A River Runs Through It…and expansive beauty!
By infusion 5…the Puerh had become really delicious. A fine creation somewhat like building a thatched home and moving in. All is right and comfortable. The flavor was smooth and sweet. The pepper and spice and juice and earth had harmoniously blended into a oneness. It was worth it to come to this place and I can’t imagine stopping short of this part of the journey.
I am sure that I have more steepings to go. The liquor has not weakened.