80

A cute little stack of 7 flapjacks, each flap jack is roughly 7 grams.

This is an intense, very young raw pu erh. The first two quick infusions, it was pleasant with light floral with some fruit, maybe of stonefruits along with some dirt taste. On the 3rd infusion, the tight flapjack was completely opened and bitterness crept in, as well as some floral sweetness. On the 5th, it was a very strong bitter and the bitterness peaked out on the 6th steep. The sweetness became more intense, but so did the bitterness. Throughout the rest of the 10 steeps, the strong bitterness was always present with some grass, stonefruit, and floral notes. At the point that the leaves opened up fully, it became astringent as well which also seemed to increase on each steep.

If you like bitterness with a slight offset of floral sweetness, you’ll enjoy this tea. If you don’t like strong bitterness, this one is not for you. I’ll be setting this aside to try much further down the road. It’s not bad at all, it has some lovely notes… It’s just bitter and astringent. That’s how I would classify it anyway.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Dirt, Grass, Honey, Peach, Stonefruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea-sipper

I think raw is usually steeped with much cooler water? I do anyway? But I’m usually steeping in a full mug for 30 seconds for raw puerh.

Kawaii433

Yeah, you’re right and it was too late for me when I thought of it. Other than TeaVivre’s Moonlight raw pu erh 194F (that’s my favorite raw pu erh), I think all the others are usually at 170ish or something. I will try again at 160 or so. Thanks for the reminder :D.

tea-sipper

Yeah, I made the mistake of steeping raw pu-erh too hot in the early days, so I know all about bitter raw pu-erh. haha

Togo

It depends. These mini cakes often have small leaf particle size, which means the extraction is super fast once they unpack. There’s various ways to counter it. If you want to retain thickness, the best is to keep the infusion times as short as possible, but still use high temperature. Another option is to lower the temperature, which will generally enhance floral elements and mute the bitterness. Another option is to use more water per infusion, which is generally not the best idea as far as I can tell.

I often like to cold brew these mini cakes. Maybe have a rinse or two and steep overnight at room temperature (or below). You get the thickness and the florals, but not that much bitterness that way.

And finally, you can learn to embrace the bitterness :D
It’s probably not for everyone, but there is something exciting about that too.

The above is with respect to teas with fast extraction. For raw pu-erh with full leaves, I would recommend sticking to high temperatures, 200F and above. Coupled with high tea to water ratios and short steeping times, that seems to yield the best results. Also, combining several infusions together can be a way to avoid the overly bitter outliers.

Kawaii433

@Togo I’ll try all those suggestions with it. I did 10s, 15s, 20s infusions but I’ll try like 5s. I’ll also try the lower temperature and cold brew. I’m so trying to embrace the bitterness! Little by little, teas that were too bitter before don’t bother me so much anymore so maybe I’m getting used to it. I can only hope. haha Thank you so much for your input!

mrmopar

Starting at 3 seconds on the younger stuff seems to help. I normally do just off boil and quick steeps till I see where the tea is going. Another trick is to allow the tea to rest after the rinse. It will almost take on its on weight in water. Letting it soak in a bit seems to help my brews.

Kawaii433

@mrmopar kk I think because of the high bitterness, I’m going to go for that 3 secs or less too. Pour in, pour out. I have never let the tea rest after the rinse (well, at least not on purpose hehe). Lots of good hints on dealing with this little raw beauty. Thank you!

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Comments

tea-sipper

I think raw is usually steeped with much cooler water? I do anyway? But I’m usually steeping in a full mug for 30 seconds for raw puerh.

Kawaii433

Yeah, you’re right and it was too late for me when I thought of it. Other than TeaVivre’s Moonlight raw pu erh 194F (that’s my favorite raw pu erh), I think all the others are usually at 170ish or something. I will try again at 160 or so. Thanks for the reminder :D.

tea-sipper

Yeah, I made the mistake of steeping raw pu-erh too hot in the early days, so I know all about bitter raw pu-erh. haha

Togo

It depends. These mini cakes often have small leaf particle size, which means the extraction is super fast once they unpack. There’s various ways to counter it. If you want to retain thickness, the best is to keep the infusion times as short as possible, but still use high temperature. Another option is to lower the temperature, which will generally enhance floral elements and mute the bitterness. Another option is to use more water per infusion, which is generally not the best idea as far as I can tell.

I often like to cold brew these mini cakes. Maybe have a rinse or two and steep overnight at room temperature (or below). You get the thickness and the florals, but not that much bitterness that way.

And finally, you can learn to embrace the bitterness :D
It’s probably not for everyone, but there is something exciting about that too.

The above is with respect to teas with fast extraction. For raw pu-erh with full leaves, I would recommend sticking to high temperatures, 200F and above. Coupled with high tea to water ratios and short steeping times, that seems to yield the best results. Also, combining several infusions together can be a way to avoid the overly bitter outliers.

Kawaii433

@Togo I’ll try all those suggestions with it. I did 10s, 15s, 20s infusions but I’ll try like 5s. I’ll also try the lower temperature and cold brew. I’m so trying to embrace the bitterness! Little by little, teas that were too bitter before don’t bother me so much anymore so maybe I’m getting used to it. I can only hope. haha Thank you so much for your input!

mrmopar

Starting at 3 seconds on the younger stuff seems to help. I normally do just off boil and quick steeps till I see where the tea is going. Another trick is to allow the tea to rest after the rinse. It will almost take on its on weight in water. Letting it soak in a bit seems to help my brews.

Kawaii433

@mrmopar kk I think because of the high bitterness, I’m going to go for that 3 secs or less too. Pour in, pour out. I have never let the tea rest after the rinse (well, at least not on purpose hehe). Lots of good hints on dealing with this little raw beauty. Thank you!

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Bio

Longtime casual tea drinker. In the past, mainly Sencha, Matcha. I’m currently into Oolong, Black & Pu’erh.

Gongfu cha is the main way I prepare my tea (gaiwan or Yixing teapot). I drink all tea… Usually unflavored. I do try some flavored now. I don’t like artificial sweeteners.

Favorite stores: TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala Tea, Yunnan sourcing, White2Tea, Lupicia. (Note: I love the teaware from TeaVivre and Yunnan sourcing.) Good experiences with 52Teas, Harney & Sons, Whispering Pines

Flavors I dislike are artificial flavors, especially artificial sweeteners. Strong lavender, violet, any strong floral-perfumey tea; cantaloupe, ripe papaya, sweet honeydew.

Can handle a little of the following: Rose, licorice, anise, jasmine, mint, spearmint, peppermint, leather.

Favorite flavors: Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit & tangerines), granny smith apple, bananas, guava, mango, tamarind, watermelon, stonefruits, all fruits except cantaloupe, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, creme, bread, nuts, toasted, roasted.

I generally don’t add anything to my teas.

As I explore, my ratings may shift. 90+ generally means I’ll keep it on my shelf.

Location

USA

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