Nooooo! Why do I have to be the one with the first note?!? Me! A total newbie! One who is determined to like ripe pu’erh and drinks it solely because , well, breaking in a horse is tough, right?
Again, many thanks to Dexter3657 for the sample. I am certain this is good pu’erh. Maybe even excellent pu’erh. Also, according to mrmopar who I’ve sought out for advice I should be trying a good pu’erh at least three years old so that it’s starting to mellow a bit. You see, I really didn’t want to purchase pu’erh from unknown sources (or even known) without knowing for sure it is good pu’erh. I mean, I’m already struggling. I’d hate to struggle and then find out I’ve been drinking shitty stuff that’s just not going to be tasty no matter what you do. But how to know for sure? Well, Dexter3657 swears by Mandala and mrmopar steered me towards menghai. As luck would have it dexter sent me a piece of this cake, which fits all the criteria I’ve been presented with. It’s ripe, it’s at least 3 years old and it’s menghai sourced by mandala. How can it not be good?
So here I am, steep number 4. I made it this far!
I am certain I overleafed because I don’t have a digital scale so 5grams got eyeballed. Also I used less than 2 cups of water.
The first steep was my favourite. (30 seconds after a short rinse). Gorgeous reddish brown colour, kinda like clay. Did only barely smelled fishy. Which I need to say, because I forgot, the dry leaf to me smelled like smoked/cured whitefish. So yeah, I was surprised. Not fishy! I can drink it although I think the days where I actually look forward to this are rather faraway.
Second steep. (1 minute) Uh-oh. It has darkened. Like coffee dark. But happily, I can drink this because it DOES NOT smell. And I am not sure what I taste. And it’s chewy. I think.
Third steep was the same as the second in colour of the liquor and its taste.
Made it to steep four, kept steeping times not much longer than a minute because I was afraid. It’s cooled because there is only so much I can drink in one sitting. It tastes a little fishy. I cannot get any subtler notes or anything. Patience, grasshopper.
woohoo! A few more practices and who knows, I could actually be joining the little league. Well, maybe the bush league first.
Gosh. I am not looking forward to tomorrow’s practice but we must press on!
Thank you to dexter, mrmopar and of course mandala for providing a source of tea we can actually trust when it comes to quality. Maybe there are others out there but hey, for me if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Also known as why look for better when you have the best?