Since it is the end of the year, I have been reminiscing about the past. So, I was looking through teas I had and I found a tea that was gifted to me that I hadn’t tried yet!
Description: “This medium bodied brew has a complex flavour, hints of chocolate, vanilla with the tartness of raspberries and a bit of white wine.”
Instructions: 3g /1½ teaspoons | 100°c (212°F) | rinse tea leaves | first steep, 30-50 seconds | second step, 10 seconds with additional 5 seconds to next steeps. | steep 4 times
Review: This tea was given to me by Rita who I meet through the Toronto Tea Festival many years ago! She gave it to me when I saw her earlier this year at the Toronto Tea Festival. I had been holding on to it for a cold day. Since this was a sample package of tea, I used 1.5 teaspoons as it allowed me to brew the tea twice. The tea is aged raw pu-erh from 2009.
The long needle shaped inky dark blue, brown, and black leaves had a a musky earthy fermented aroma. When warmed in a gaiwan, the leaves smelled of mushrooms, damp wood and smoked. After a 5 second rinse, the leaves had a reddish and greenish brown tinge and smelled of damp earth.
Infusion 1 (40 seconds): The recommendations suggested between 30 to 50 seconds, so I decided on 40 seconds. The liquor was a greenish brown colour with an earthy taste and some lingering astringency at the back of the throat.
Infusion 2 (10 seconds): During the second infusion, the liquor was reddish brown colour. More flavours were developing with some mellow earthiness and mushroom notes followed by some dryness at the back of the throat.
Infusion 3 (15 seconds): The mushroom notes were replaced by nuttiness and an underlying earthy note. The sip ended bitter and the leaves had mostly unfurled.
Infusion 4 (20 seconds): The liquor had hints of floral notes with some faint earthy and ended off mineral.
Infusion 5 (25 seconds): Despite the recommendations noting the tea can be 4 steeping, I wanted to infuse the tea one more time. The liquor was a greenish brown colour and the flavours were starting to fade.
Since this was a sample size, the second time I tried the tea, there was a bit more bitterness but that most likely was because of the additional dusting at the bottom of the pouch. Pu-erh still a tea type I am developing a pallet for but this one had a surprising range of flavours! The flavours were mellow and not overly strong due to the aging of the tea (3/5 rating).
- Type: Pu-erh tea (raw/sheng)
- Origin: Jingmai Tea Mountain, Puer City, Yunnan Province, China
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Zi Juan Pu-erh
- Company: Tao Tea Lea
The question of the post: Do you like aged pu-erhs?