So, I’ve been a little afraid of Pu-erh teas – what with the stories of finding fingernails and cigarette butts in the cakes, etc. Also, some of the descriptions I’ve read here of people saying their pu-erh smelled like fish really didn’t give me lots of incentive to want to try some.
But I figured I should. And I found some on sale. (I’m a total sucker for things on sale.)
The package didn’t have anything about how to prepare the tea other than boiling water, so I ran back,and checked out Wikipedia after I got the water on the cute little nest. It reminded me that you should wash your pu-erhs, so I ran to the kitchen (more running than I’ve done in weeks) and dumped out the water and put more on to heat.
Which was probably good, because what I was smelling? Smelled like fish.
Then, more water heated, I put it on, and the ever helpful quote from Wikipedia "Steeping times last from 12–30 seconds in the first few infusions, up to 2–10 minutes in the last infusions. " I decided to go until it looked right. How’s that for scientific? This time I also used almost boiling water rather than boiling water
It smelled so much nicer, still a hint of something oceanic, or like nice dirt but not just like fish. And the color was AWESOME. A beautiful red-brown. I expected the tea to be kick-you-in-the-head strong, but it wasn’t. It’s very mild, not particularly tannic, and not bitter.
I’m enjoying this a lot.