So a while ago I ordered a ton of samples from puerhshop. Pretty much anything I could order in a sample size, kind of blindly. And most of those that I have tried, thus far, has been, to be quite honest, not terribly remarkable. With all fairness, as far as I know, young sheng (what most of these samples are), according to my research, are for aging, not immediate drinking, so I guess I’m not surprised. But I keep hoping by drinking a ton of it, from different areas/factories, I’ll at least get some sort of….learning experience.
This tea, though. This one is different, kind of strange. It feels very thick and heavy in the mouth, almost oily. And it has this very distinct sour taste. It’s like a bowl of hot and sour soup. Very savory. I’m actually not really sure I like it (the sour note puts me off a little) but it’s just very surprising as compared to all the other pu’er I’ve had lately.
The sourness gets really pronounced as the tea cools, to the point that I can’t bring myself to drink it at that point. But it’s just so very interesting. I can’t get over how heavy it feels, a nearly clear liquid with the mouthfeel of.. whole milk or even cream. I’m actually starting to feel full from sipping on it; my brain seems to think I’m eating something substantial and nourishing.
I went and reboiled the water five or so steeps in, under the logic that if the sourness is more pronounced as the tea cools, I should try keeping it as hot as possible. It actually does help a little— the sourness is still detectable but in a much smaller amount.. in fact, in this tiny amount it tastes more familiar.. I think that little element is actually present in many other sheng I have tried; I just didn’t really notice it until it was really in my face. So this has been a learning experience, after all.
I’m really going to make a better effort to keep more notes on these assorted pu’ers. Most of them aren’t on Steepster; I had to add this one, for example. Pu’er doesn’t really seem to have much of a following here, so I seem to be kind of stumbling through the dark. But at the same time, it seems pretty exciting.