With a name like “brown sugar,” I had to try this tea! I always like exploring teas that have a sweeter note.
Description: “The soup is sweet and smooth, with a light and approachable character.”
Instructions: Gongfu style – 1 gram for 15 milliliters of water the vessel can hold | Add extra gram for stronger brew | Boiling water | Fast pour on and off (rinse) and increasing steep time 5 seconds or so for each steep (For example: first steep is 5 seconds, the 2nd steep should be around 10 seconds, and the 3rd steep around 15 seconds) | Adjust the time using your own preferences of tea strength
Review: Right from the get-go, I liked how the pressed cake arrived in a neat rectangle chuck which reminded me of chocolate bar! The cake was easy to break apart despite being aged and smelled faintly of earthy and damp undergrowth.
I used a gaiwan that could hold 60 ml of water, so I tried brewing using 4 to 5 grams of tea. I found I enjoyed the slightly more intense 5 gram infusions, as it gave a stronger variety in taste.
When the dry leaves were in the warm gaiwan, it had a malty, “brown sugar,” caramel, cocoa, and damp undergrowth smell. I can see why the name! After a quick wash, the wet leaves were a dark brown, almost black colour with a roasted and earthy smell. The leaves were fragmented with the occasional branch.
Infusion 1 (5 seconds): The liquor was reddish brown colour and had an earthy fermented smell. The sip started off sweet, and transformed into a faint damp earth taste which ended on a sweet note. There was some bitterness when the liquor cooled. The cake broke apart after the quick rinse and first infusion.
Infusion 2 (10 seconds): The liquor quickly became a dark brown colour and had the classic fermented mushroom smell associated with some pu’erhs. The flavours was stronger and had a deep earthy notes with some under maple syrup sweetness. There was some dryness on the back of the tongue and throat.
Infusion 3 (15 seconds): The liquor remained a dark brown colour and developed a charcoal flavour along side the existing earthy and woodsy notes.
Infusion 4 (20 seconds): There was a burst of mushroom medicinal taste with some damp earthy peat, and woodsy notes. It ended off sweet like a faint maple water. The liquor was very mellow by this infusion and had a fair bit of astringency.
Overall, I can see why this was called “brown sugar” and it lived up to its name. I’m use to pu’erhs that lean more toward the medicinal, earthy, damp earthy or fermented flavours, so this was a nice change of pace. I would like to find more pu’erhs with a sweeter note as pu’erh is a vast topic that I am still learning about (3/5 rating)!
- Type: Pu’erh tea (ripe)
- Origin: China
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Large percentage of 2016 huangpian (the largest leaf used in puer production)
- Company: White2Tea
The question of the post: What shapes has your pu’erh come in?
I found posts below from white2tea helpful when brewing the tea!: