First non-generic pu’erh! First tea using a gaiwan and those itty bitty cups! Mine are so cute! First month (free!) of Verdant’s Tea of the Month club, which I’ll probably be continuing even if I don’t like both pu’erhs that came with this month’s selection. Such cute little packages, good for just about one tasting session.
Anyway, I just poured my first steep after 2 rinses.
1st Steep (5 seconds)
Water is mostly clear and smells like black tea except…more. More earthy, more…something. More pu’erh I guess. I did manage to get water everywhere and burn my fingers again. Third time so far this morning since I burned them on both rinses too. I did not drink the rinses.
Well it’s very…bitter. And…I don’t know how to describe this flavour except I’ve only gotten it from pu’erhs. It’s probably blasphemy but I think I’m going to have to add a tiny bit of sugar to each of these infusions if I’m going to make it through this tasting.
With a tiny bit of sugar added, not enough to make it sweet, just enough to take the edge off, I’m getting less bitter and more actual flavour. Something…composty maybe? Hard to describe. I’ve always been terrible at describing flavours.
Second Steep – 10 seconds
I now understand why a sharing pitcher is necessary. I’ve decided to pour each steep into my gravity infuser before draining it into the cups, if only because I won’t splash everywhere and it’s really the only thing with a wide enough opening to work very well for what I have at my desk.
Still not tasty, quite bitter, a quite ‘sharp’ flavour on the tongue that lingers.
Steep 3 – 15 seconds
Okay it’s much better if I drink it very hot, rather than cooled down a bit, but it’s still not what I would call tasty. The taste is changing but there’s again nothing I can really identify except a sharp bitterness.
I think at this point I’m going to turn in the towel and truly give up on pu’erhs for the time being. If I can’t get through one using the right methods and as high quality as Verdant is known for, I’m obviously not going to like any of them. Thankfully I think that I already have a trade going out that I can slip the other pu’erh from this TOTM into, she likes pu’erh.
Not going to rate because that would be unfair to this tea.