Happy Father’s Day! Today the prompt is to “drink a tea that reminds you of your father.” Just like during the Mother’s Day prompt, I’m the only tea-drinker in my family so I don’t simply have a tea they favor to drink, and have to think a little outside the box.
My Dad’s morning drink of choice is Tang… yes, that extremely fake tangerine-flavored powder you dissolve in water. I think he’s been drinking it since he was 16, and he still attests that “if it’s good enough for astronauts, it’s good enough for me!” I used to have some strongly tangerine-flavored teas (I remember a green one in the past) but since I’ve been going gangbusters on sipping down and strict about not reordering anything, I couldn’t find any in my current stash. But I did find this pu’erh stuffed in a tangerine, which I thought would be a good choice, both for the “Tang” inspiration tangerine flavor as well as the earthy notes of the pu’erh, since my Dad is a very “down to earth” sort of guy.
I actually got this tea for free from a barista working at Snake River Tea one year during my yearly trip there during a local anime convention; my friend and I ordered tea there every day of the convention, and on the last day I made a $100+ loose leaf order, and he just tossed this shrinkwrapped puerh-stuffed tangerine into my bag. It was easy for me to find the same one on Yunnan Sourcing, so if I like it, at least I know where to get it… because Snake River Tea closed down during COVID, for good. I was pretty upset about that…
I know I’ve tried a “tangerine stuffed pu’erh” before and I had a WICKED time breaking it out of the shell… the inconvience sort of offset the enjoyment I had from the tea. This one was SUPER easy though; the top was scored off, and after pouring out the tea, the rest of the shell was easily crushable to get little eggshell pieces of it distributed throughout the tea. I brewed this cup western with about 3.5g of the leaf and the tangerine “lid,” for 5 minutes in 205F water.
The brewed tea is thick and dark, with a sort of medicinal/peppery citrus scent. The cup is quite nice! The base pu’erh is strongly earthy but doesn’t taste like dirt in a cup, which is my typical experience with pu’erh. There is a hint of smoke, and a noticable peppery taste. The tangerine itself is not overpowering, but leaves a slight citrusy note in the cup which definitely makes the flavor more pleasing for someone like me, who typically avoids pu’erh. I also loved how easy it was to open and break down compared to the “Xinhui Green Mandarin Orange Ripened Pu-erh” by TeaVivre that I’ve tried in the past.
A satisfying cup… which I’m going to sip on while I call my dad.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Medicinal, Pepper, Smoke, Smooth, Tangerine