After the first time I tasted this I’d been meaning to go back to it and play around with it a bit. While I liked it, second only to the chocolate among the Numi pu erhs, I wasn’t sure I’d steeped it correctly the first time.
The instructions on the bag seem to suggest it ought to be steeped as a green tea. I found this confusing, because whereas others of the Numi pu erhs do seem to be blends of other teas with the pu erh, this one’s main ingredient is “green pu erh” and its only other ingredient is mint.
So I decided tonight to give it a side by side test in identical glass cups. I brewed one as a green tea, with a 2 minute steeping time and 175 degree water, and the other for 3 minutes with boiling water.
Let me back up for a minute and say that the bags smell quite nice. Very minty, with the barnyardy/leathery scent of the pu erh as almost an accent, keeping the mint from being too candy-like.
The longer, hotter steep yielded a darker liquor; more tawny/tan yellow than the other, which looked very like green tea liquor, a greenish yellow. The aromas were interesting to compare. The longer steep brought out more of a pu erh smell, while the shorter seemed almost like a minty green oolong, with just a hint of the earthy tone of pu erh.
Taste-wise, the comparison came out similarly. They were both nice cups. The longer steep was heartier, and had more in common with the other Numi pu erhs I’ve tried. Leathery, barnyardy, earthy. The mint is a nice contrast to this, a fresh high note that would probably be appealing to people just starting to experiment with pu erhs and those who are looking for a counterpoint to the dark, pungent flavor. The shorter steep was heavier on the mint, thinner on the pu ehr flavor, but tasty in its own right.
The digestive aid properties of this one are not to be underestimated. I felt rumblings in my intestines almost immediately upon starting to sip this…