The first pu’erh tea I tried that wasn’t flavored, and the one that will always have my heart. Oh, Dante, how I love thee.
Being one of those weird people who finds comfort in the off-putting smell of pu’erhs (my last order of Dante, from what I can recall, smelt like a combination of fish and wet hay), I never pre-rinse the leaves before enjoying a cup. I do 1-2 teaspoons in my teapot, cover the leaves with boiling water, and steep anywhere from 7-15 minutes.
The color is a rich, dark, reddish-brown, and the earthy/fishy smell is overwhelming (in a good way, and only if you steep it for as long as I do) when you first take a sip. One of my favorite things about the tea is that, no matter how short or how long you steep it for, it never gets bitter—though I guess that holds true for most pu’erhs. It’s a very dark tea with a rich, full-bodied flavor that pleases the palette and goes well with just about any meal: pre, during, or post.
I find Dante more enjoyable than it’s Poe counterpart, as well as Rishi’s Tuo Cha cakes, due to the lack of “sweet” overtone that overpowers the earthy flavors in the others. Dante, as mentioned before and by many reviewers above me, is dark, yet complex and mellow all-in-one. I recommend it for coffee drinkers looking for a suitable tea replacement, and to anyone looking to try pu’erh teas.
Head’s up: your significant other will more-than-likely hesitate to kiss you after you drink it if they’re not fans of pu’erhs. :)