The sample I got from Juniper certainly looked like a forest floor- the dry leaves where long and twisted. A light foggy green color, purpled, silvery, and dusted, reminiscent of ancient roots. It had a faint musty odor.
The wet leaf smelled much stronger! An animal smell – like wet straw, and sour fruit. The leaves became a deep brown with red and plum undertones, thick stems, and choppy edged leaves (like Italian parsley).
I used a more elaborate steeping process than usual. First I boiled water to a very high temperature- and doused the leaves (3 heaping spoonfuls) immediately pouring the water out to rinse off the dust. I then steeped the leaves for just 25 seconds and was surprised at how strong the color was (a thick rusty brown). The smell of the tea-broth was changed as well, almost like cookie dough. Brown sugar, but still musky. Pleasant and rich. When I took a sip it rolled over the tongue like cream. I expected something astringent from the smell, but it was completely toothless – musky at the back of the throat but with a lighter note on top like buttercream. As I drank it, I noticed a cooling effect as well. Overall it was earthy and round – and perfectly balanced. I always thought with tea if it isn’t “sweet” it must be “bitter” and if its neither, it must be bland. But this really was balanced, and far from bland, not too rich. Complex, yet uncomplicated.
I steeped it 7 times increasing the steep time by 5 seconds each time and got a unique cup each time. A very exciting tea, I highly recommend visiting Juniper Baltimore. You can read the full tasting here: https://www.doublecuptea.com/blog/2017/4/28/sip-of-the-month-pu-erh
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Forest Floor, Irish Cream, Musty, Peat, Smooth, Wet Wood