Thank you Teavivre again for this Pu-erh sample!
I requested a some Pu-erh samples in my last batch from Angel and was so pleased at the generous amount of Pu-erh bark packaged so beautifully. I adore a rich brew in the morning…especially Pu-erh!
The packaging was brown paper with a farm scene printed on it depicting pots filled with picked tea leaves, a storage crock and a pressed Pu-erh cake. Inside the bark was like a dark chocolate bar changed into chunky bark form.
The directions on the package said to steep 2-10 minutes. Wow, that was a big time range! Since I enjoy rich Pu-erh, I chose a longer 8 minute brew in my glass Western Style pot with big stainless basket so I can peek and watch.
The wet leaves were auburn brown with long beautiful shreds but not very fragrant.
The pour was dark and at first taste tingly in my tongue, juicy and mild. I was surprised that this tea was not herbaceous or earthy considering such a long steeping. There was mineral, almost no salt and a light natural sweetness. I wondered if this was a tea leaf picked from trees on a rocky hill, or volcanic soil instead of lush forest because of the mildness. There is tannin and dryness.
I tried some sugar and cream but the tea is not strong and rich enough to support these additions. You need more earthiness and salt for latte goodness. This Pu-erh is one of those that is definately better straight up!
I brought up the online notes for brewing and discovered the difference between the package directions (2-10 minutes) and the online directions (1-2 minutes) EEKS!
To be fair I went back and did a shorter steep time to see if the flavor was completely different.
Second steep at 2 minutes. Nice redish golden liquor, very little nose to the liquor at all.
The flavor was juicy still, super mild and sweet enough to drink as is. There is that tannin but not overly obnoxious and there is a little saltiness. I can’t imagine anyone having issues with this Pu-erh. All the Pu-erh haters should put down their protest signs and enjoy this tea because it is so gentle.
I added a little sugar with this lighter version and actually liked it. It brought out a bakery flavor like a cream cookie which was unexpected.
Here you have two ways to have a Pu-erh depending on how you like your brew.
1. Long steep and drink it straight up.
2. Short steep and add a little sweetening for a bakery cookie flavor
Either way, this is so mild that you can share with Pu-erh sceptics and have no fear. There is no fishiness or heavy earthiness here. A good introduction to raw Pu-erh.