CharlotteZero sent me a couple of these little things to try. I really appreciate it — thank you! I’m just now trying them, since this was my first little pu-erh cake and I was a bit intimidated. But it’s a rainy day here, so I thought this one would be nice to try. Originally I thought I should cut it in half or something, since I would be brewing western style… but the cake looks like a teaspoon sized bird nest anyway. So I rinsed the mini cake for a few seconds (until the cake was saturated) and poured out that water.
Steep #1: I waited a few minutes for the water to cool to pour the mug about 3/4 of the way full for maybe 10 seconds and took out the infuser. That may have been a couple seconds too long (according to the tiny bit of astringency.) But the flavor is exactly what I expected a “sweet rice” to be. It’s kind of like kettle corn! Just a bit less sugary sweet.(“Kettle corn’s a fun time snack!” says Troy from ‘Community’.) The pu-erh itself is hardly noticeable. There isn’t much of a typical pu-erh flavor, letting the sweet rice really shine through.
Steep #2: Eight seconds with the mug half full of water. This one is just as tasty. It’s so buttery. I could swear I was tasting some green tea here though.. which might be where the astringency is coming from. I’m not finding the “dark, earthy” taste from the description though. The leaves are entirely out of the little nest now.
A BUNCH more steeps around ten seconds with the mug half filled all tasted the same. Just as delicious and buttery! Then I steeped once at 20 seconds which seemed even more buttery… which led to:
The last steep: I decided to go with Teance’s instructions and brew this for two minutes with a full mug of water. It still has that buttery flavor, but it tastes a bit more like a pu-erh now. The one that I had from Verdant anyway: a bit like some sort of woodchip, in a nice way! It is still very mild flavored!
I have one more of this little cakes that I will save to savor! ( I think I just like saying “little cakes”.) I thought about buying some more of these but yowzas, these aren’t cheap… though they might be the cheapest thing on Teance’s site. I enjoyed this immensely though!