We made our first visit to the semi-new local Whole Foods store on Saturday. It was an interesting place with more “wholesome” food choices than your average major chain. However, if you are looking for many varieties of the good stuff, i.e., chips, cookies, and other wonderful junk food (like I ALWAYS am), Whole Foods will disappoint you.
What I liked most about Whole Foods was that they had a modest selection of loose leaf teas that I hadn’t tried yet. For this trip, I decided to purchase Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic.
My only exposure to Rishi teas up to that point was with Rishi’s Earl Grey, which is my absolute favorite Earl Grey. I was therefore quite excited to try their pu-erh selection.
When I opened the sealed freshness bag, a rich and familiar leathery aroma was released from inside. Side note: Rishi nicely provides a piece of strong tape to reseal the bag after opening.
Following Rishi’s instructions, I steeped the brown earth-colored leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed liquor was a deep chocolate brown. There was no obvious aroma emanating from the brew.
My first sip produced an earthy, leathery, and wood-like flavor in my taste buds. The taste was smooth and defined but not strong. I did not detect any bitterness or unpleasant lingering artifacts. I also did not experience the presence of cocoa in this tea. The flavor remained at this level throughout two cups.
This is a nice pu-erh tea with good flavor. The less than robust strength of taste in my first try was my fault. I steeped my usual one TEASPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water and I just noticed that Rishi’s instructions called for one TABLESPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water. (I must have still been asleep at the tea maker.) I have no doubt that the flavor I experienced times three will be more than sufficient for me next time. If I remember (and that’s a HUGE if), I’ll update this tasting note after I boost the amount of leaves in my next brewing of Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic tea.