90

168/365

I’ve been wanting to try a rice-ripened pu’erh for a long time now, since I’m really rather fond of sticky rice. That starchy creaminess is one of my favourite flavours! The rice flavour here is a lot stronger than I expected it to be, although I imagine it will fade in successive steeps. In flavour terms, it’s exactly like a liquid version of overcooked rice, when it’s gone thick and starchy. The pu’erh itself isn’t much more than a background flavour at the moment – a light earthiness, but really barely there.

Second steep is very similar, although the rice flavour blends slightly more coherently with the base pu’erh. It’s still strong, but not quite so much as the first steep. It’s a better balance between creamy/starchy and the earthiness of the pu’erh. A good combination, and an unexpectedly delicious one!

Third steep is again similar. The rice flavour is still very prominent, and the pu’erh is still very much second fiddle. I think you’d have to really enjoy the flavour of overcooked rice to get along with this one – it’s not a background flavour by any means!

I’ll probably stick with this one until the end of the day now, and take it through a few more steeps. Given what I’ve experienced so far, there’s likey a lot of life left in it yet! I don’t usually buy pu’erh in tea bags, but I am finding it convenient – no cake to break, no weighing or measuring, and easy clean-up to boot! I’d definitely take some of these along with me if I were travelling – the quality of the tea seems unimpaired, and I didn’t find the slightly higher price off-putting when considering the number of steeps I’ll ultimately get from each one.

Another Teavivre win!

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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