I received this sample in the mail and immediately began brewing it. I’ve been curious about Misty Peak Teas for quite some time and this was the perfect opportunity to try some of their pu’er.
The dry tea smelled sorta herbacious and a bit earthy. I was also getting a bit of a tobacco-like smell in there. It was interesting to say the least. I experimented with the steep time a little bit as I usually so the first time brewing. I found my sweet spot at about the 9th steep at 3 minutes but each steep was amazing.
1st Steep-30 sec
Slightly grassy. Very fruity. Apple or pear. I can’t place it right now. Lightly smoky. Kinda like walking into a room where a match had been lit. You get whisps of it. The smoke is not in every sip but you catch a bit of it here and there.
2nd Steep-45 sec
I’m getting a little bit more of the smoke. Not overpowering. Still very fruity. Definitely apple this time. A bit of spice…sometimes nutmeg, sometimes clove.
3rd Steep-1 minute
Tastes almost exactly like apricot jam. I am not even kidding. This pu’er is so gentle yet flavorful.
4th Steep-1.30 minutes
Still tastes like apricot jam but with a bit more astringency. Seems like it pops up in later brews. There is also something minty going on.
5th Steep-2 minutes
A little bit more astringent. Not in an overpowering way and nothing close to what I expect from a young sheng but just enough that you notice it. Still tastes like apricot but it’s getting sweeter.
6th, 7th, 8th Steeps-2.30 minutes
Very mellow steeps. All of a sudden, the apricots are gone and replaced by pears and honey. Very very surprising.
9th Steep-3 minutes
When I brew a tea for the first time, especially a pu’er, I experiment with different brew times to find the sweet spot—sometimes I get a bit crazy. I think 3 minutes is this tea’s sweet spot. At least for me. This steep reminds me of roasted pears with a caramel sauce and spices. It tastes like the holidays.
10th Steep-5 minutes
Steeped at 5 minutes just to see if I could without getting kicked in the face with astringency. And I didn’t. So smooth and it tastes like apples, pears and a spicy cinnamon.
11th Steep-10 minutes
If you’re going to push it far why not push it farther? So I did and steeped for 10 minutes. It’s ridiculous and bordering on tea abuse but it worked well. I probably wouldn’t do this earlier but in later steeps, why not? It was a bit astringent but not the unpleasant sort. Kind of minty actually.
In my defense, I’m all allergied up and I fell asleep while brewing. But it was still good in the morning when I did drink it. It tasted like pears and molasses. Not bad.
Overall, this is one of the best sheng pu’ers I have ever tried. It’s young but it’s gentle and flavorful. I’m considering buying a cake because I can only imagine how lovely this tea will be with some age on it.
Thank you to Misty Peak Teas for the generous sample.