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!