The last of my sampler pack of this variety, and it ended up being a little bit more leaf than I’d been using before. This brought out the sweetness nicely and bumped up the earthiness a bit, but the tea still avoided veering off into bitter or too strong territory. It stayed extremely smooth and mellow, and gave me an appreciation for how much pu-erhs can vary – this one and the Camel’s Breath tuocha being at the opposite ends of the scale from one another. Both great and interesting, but for different reasons and with very different taste profiles.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


Washington, DC

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