Thank you Roughage for this generous Sample!
Oh I do love Pu-erh! I admit that have so much to learn! So much fun!
How Roughage could break off a hefty amount of this Pu-erh cake to share with me…well…I am speechless (but not wordless).
The dry Pu-erh looked very dark brown with some green and gold woven in.
The instructions: Use a small pot with 3-4 grams at 203F (95C) for 20sec. Multiple infusions 6 times. (This sounded like a good morning tasting!)
I didn’t want to do 4grams so I chose 2grams (about 2tsp) and used my PIAO infuser with 5oz water.I rinsed the Pu-erh first. Each infusion was 20 seconds. The liquor was always a medium gold color.
The leaves changed color after infusion to medium green.(now that did surprise me)
I have to comment on the scent of the wet leaves. Usually this isn’t a remarkable enough event to comment on. The scent of these leaves was something special.
There is a scent that is woven in the life of my family that can be explained in a story…
A number of weeks ago, my daughter received news that the Godmother of all her children (and a beloved friend) only had a few months to live. Before telling the kids, she went to her Icon corner where she prays every morning, lit a vigil candle for her friend and prayed using a censor with incense (which she reserves for Feast Days). Up the stairs bounded Micah the 7 year old fully awake running into the middle of the room and announcing with a loud voice…
“What’s wrong?! Something smells Holy in here!” (In the middle of sorrow we had a laugh)
Ah, the power of incense. How a smell or scent can bring us to a place of full attention, or memory or quiet place.
I smelled incense in the wet leaves. It was a floral, charcoal scent that was familiar. Not the artificial too strong chemical stuff that I hated in the 60’s. Not that. The natural, faint…good kind that is natural. Very faint behind the vegital of the leaves. I never smelled this in leaves before.
1. The first scent of the tea liquor was spicy, salty, briny and vegital.
I took a sip and the tea sparkled with pepper. There was an energy that spread in my mouth tasting a little mineral with a vegital base and floral undertone that I could not understand. I was distracted by the juicy, peppery popping on my tongue, which was like this youthful tea playing a game with me. “Guess what I’m going to do next”?
2. I’m awake! I thought this was going to be an earthy Pu-erh. No, it isn’t. Then, maybe like a Sheng? No,it isn’t like that either. What is this?!
I think I know what it is at the moment.(This is my guess)
A Pu-erh that’s young and on a journey.
I used to go into the wine cave with the winemaker and tap a barrel tasting a young wine which showed the promise of what would come with aging. It might taste good now, but you could tell that with a little aging…oh, this was going to age into a fine wine.
This young Pu-erh is doing the same thing. Hinting at the future. Teasing and tempting with those hints.
2. When I tasted this time there was more fruit and more energy from the tea. Very potent.
I went back to the wet leaves and smelled them again but still could not tell what the underlying floral fruit was. I had to be content to wait with the sweet, salty light flavor thick and juicy in my mouth.
3. While the leaves were still steaming in the pot, I was able to find the fruit that had been so elusive. Nectarine. Not the sweet peachy fruit but more like the skin. I had been thinking of apricot pit but that was too bitter.
This tea was a bit vegital, spicy, juicy, vibrant and energetic. Youthful and naughty. Playful with a punch of mineral but no tannin and a touch of nectarine and briny salt.
All you Non-Pu-erh drinkers would like this. It’s a good example of why you should jump in the water and begin to get your feet wet.
This has been one huge Pu-erh learning experience for me! Loved every sip!
(I read other notes and I decided not to over pack with leaves and am
glad I didn’t. With a young pu-erh, I wanted to avoid the rough edges and get to the heart which I think you can do with a moderate amount of leaves)
Thank you so much Roughage!!!!