My first puerh cake! I’m so excited! I don’t have a pick yet, so I picked through (haha!) my cupboard and came up with some tool that I can’t remember the use for. Cheese pick? It’s got two little spikes at the end. It worked really well on this cake, but I’m worried it cut the tea leaves, rather than prying them apart. I did end up with a few still-together chunks, so that should be good.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15199416980/in/photostream/

Holy crap this is dark! The cake is dark, and it brews up dark right away! Once the leaves are wet, they’re so black! The brew is pretty dark too, kind of a burgundy color.

15sec rinse
15sec steep: I was afraid to start with 30 seconds, seeing how dark it is. It’s incredibly smooth. There’s a hint of that cedar note I find in most ripe puerh.
30sec: super dark!! Cedar.
45sec: cedar is fading…a little sweeter, maybe bread-like?
1min: a little sweeter, still very dark, a little mineral-tasting and aha! I get that copper twinge at the end.
1min15sec: wow, this just stays dark! Sweet…cinnamon?
1min30sec: I don’t know why, but I think I’m getting cinnamon sugar, and that’s okay with me!
1min45sec: the color is finally starting to lighten up. Still getting cinnamon sugar notes. Woot!
2min/2min30/3min30/5min: creamy, cinnamon sugar water!

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with my first cake from the JalamTeas subscription. Thanks to Pureleaf for mentioning it in the discussion thread! Can’t wait for October’s tea and I’m certainly going to enjoy the rest of this cake!

Parsifal

Thanks for the pictures! Sounds like a really nice pu erh… I will check out Jalam Teas :)

TheTeaFairy

Congrats on first cake!! This was fun to read :-)

Tealizzy

Thanks, TTF!!

KittyLovesTea

There is a lot of joy to be had stabbing away at a Pu Erh cake :) The cheese pick tool sounds perfect for the job.

boychik

Sounds delicious, i should check them out!

Tealizzy

KittyLovesTea – it IS fun!!

Parsifal and boychik – I don’t see too many folks posting about their teas on steepster yet and I love seeing how different people find different flavors in the same tea, so I hope you do check them out. :)

Cheri

I probably don’t need another subscription, but I’ve thought about this one….

Tealizzy

Cheri- this is my first subscription…I figured it would be easier if someone else picked puerh for me. It’s kind of overwhelming, otherwise!

DigniTea

Do you have a fine screwdriver? That would work. I also know that some have used a letter opener. I share your concern for the pronged tool breaking far too many leaves – one of the pleasures of fine puerh cakes is looking to see if you have whole leaves as you “pick” the cake and in the tea vessel after they have unfurled (or maybe I’m just weird that way – simple pleasures).

Tealizzy

DigniTea: ya, I have a screwdriver, but was thinking it might not be clean enough for food prep! I’ll probably get something specifically suited to puerh at some point. :)

mrmopar

Nice review! I started with a “scratch awl” to break cakes with. Even with a proper “pick” I still have a hard time breaking them properly. These big old hands don’t do so well with the good breaking technique.

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Comments

Parsifal

Thanks for the pictures! Sounds like a really nice pu erh… I will check out Jalam Teas :)

TheTeaFairy

Congrats on first cake!! This was fun to read :-)

Tealizzy

Thanks, TTF!!

KittyLovesTea

There is a lot of joy to be had stabbing away at a Pu Erh cake :) The cheese pick tool sounds perfect for the job.

boychik

Sounds delicious, i should check them out!

Tealizzy

KittyLovesTea – it IS fun!!

Parsifal and boychik – I don’t see too many folks posting about their teas on steepster yet and I love seeing how different people find different flavors in the same tea, so I hope you do check them out. :)

Cheri

I probably don’t need another subscription, but I’ve thought about this one….

Tealizzy

Cheri- this is my first subscription…I figured it would be easier if someone else picked puerh for me. It’s kind of overwhelming, otherwise!

DigniTea

Do you have a fine screwdriver? That would work. I also know that some have used a letter opener. I share your concern for the pronged tool breaking far too many leaves – one of the pleasures of fine puerh cakes is looking to see if you have whole leaves as you “pick” the cake and in the tea vessel after they have unfurled (or maybe I’m just weird that way – simple pleasures).

Tealizzy

DigniTea: ya, I have a screwdriver, but was thinking it might not be clean enough for food prep! I’ll probably get something specifically suited to puerh at some point. :)

mrmopar

Nice review! I started with a “scratch awl” to break cakes with. Even with a proper “pick” I still have a hard time breaking them properly. These big old hands don’t do so well with the good breaking technique.

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Bio

Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)

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San Francisco Bay Area

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