My first chenpi tea was one of those stuffed whole tangerine peel ones and I bought it more as a novelty item than “serious” tea. I ended up absolutely loving it and I’ve been trying out every orangey tea I can get my paws on since then. This is the first of four from my White2Tea order (I also have a Mini O’Bitters, Big O V2 mini and Saturday Mass mini…I like minis, can you tell?).
I ended up using way more Channel Orange than I usually would (three squares!) because I got annoyed with the wrapper not having enough paper on the end to re-wrap the remaining squares very well. It worked out okay, though, because I wanted to use my “big” mug (Bodum The de Chine glass mug with glass filter) and I was able to slowly sip away at the tea all evening and not feel too over-caffeinated.
This tea doesn’t really taste like the other chenpi teas I’ve had but I like it. One of the other comments mentioned pine and cedar. I kind of get that but to me it’s more like freshly cut pinewood than pine needles…like firewood that’s been split while it’s still wet and pitchy inside. The orange doesn’t really overpower the tea flavor but the two have melded together in a way that makes it hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. It wasn’t really like other teas I’ve had where it seems like two separate flavors put together on your cup. I like that the peel is already broken up and mixed into the tea. I have a hard time figuring out the peel to tea ratio with the stuffed tangerines…I want lots of the orangey flavor but don’t want to run out of peel before I use up all the tea. There’s no guesswork with Channel Orange because it’s already combined and the chocobar style brick makes it easy to portion out the tea without weighing or picking it apart…perfect for my lazy little self! Smooth chenpi tea goodness with minimal effort. The flavor isn’t quite what I was expecting but different doesn’t mean bad. And it was still gave that comforting, cozy feeling I’ve come to expect from these citrus pu-erhs. The comment about fuzzy blankets is a great description…it’s relaxing, comforting, uncomplicated and just feels like home. It’s the tea equivalent of being wrapped up in your favorite blanket in a comfy chair with a good book on a rainy day. A perfect tea for the cold, wet weather we’ve been having. I’m not sure I’d say this is my new favorite chenpi tea but I like it quite a bit and I’m happy I bought a whole brick instead of just a sample.