Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: The Tao of Tea
Native Name: Shu Bing
Origin: Central Yunnan Province, China
Plucking Season: Fall
Introduction: A cooked style pu-er, made at one of the few certified organic tea gradens in central Yunnan. Can endure many steepings, and does not become astringent. We don’t expect it to gain any flavor change over time.
As I’ve mentioned before (several times), Pu-erh is a little intimidating to me. My first few experiences with Pu-erh were not pleasant ones, and since that time, I’ve been very hesitant to try it again. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I decided to try to expand my horizons and try to develop a taste for Pu-erh. It is, after all, an acquired taste (for some of us at least! I do understand that there are some people that love this stuff right off the bat! For the rest of us though, it takes a little time!)
The dry leaf does not possess much of an aroma, and this was encouraging me, because it is often that strong earthy essence that I find off-putting when it comes to Pu-erh. However, after steeping, I noticed the liquor developed an earthy scent. Fortunately, though, it was not nearly as strong as some Pu-erh teas that I’ve tried, so I remained optimistic. Given the fact that I’ve been very pleased with other teas I’ve tried from The Tao of Tea, I had good reason to remain optimistic!
This is remarkably smooth. It is a bold, full-flavored cup with a pleasant tone of sweetness. In the past, I have often compared the sweetness of cooked Pu-erh to caramel, and while this does possess some of those “caramel” tones to it, I would say that this is not quite as caramel-y as some of the teas I’ve tasted. It is more like molasses, but without that molasses-y bitterness.
The flavor is earthy, but a subdued earthiness with a woody undertone to it. This is a very pleasant Pu-erh. Not one I would consider a favorite but, one that I am happy I had the opportunity to try and one that I wouldn’t turn down if I were offered it again. The Tao of Tea does it again!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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