Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Workshop: Diyi Workshop
Flavor: True to the smell, this tea really does taste like corn, but with an impressive complexity. The spearmint comes through as a tingling sensation, more of a a minty texture than anything else. Despite the sweet corn flavor, the tea is weightless on the palate and almost refreshing like an iced drink.
This month’s Steepster Select Package theme is “Migration.” My first thought when I saw the card insert in the package was “Migration? What an odd theme.” But I don’t mean odd in a bad way… I happen to think odd is a compliment. I mean, why settle for ordinary when you can have something a little odd?
The card insert explains the theme like this:
Autumn brings bodies in motion – animals and people alike – savoring the final wisps of warmth. Stroll through the park and you’ll find empty nests, scattered branches and crisp, fallen leaves, all proof of the impending frost.
Some take flight, migrating to warmer climates, but those more observant recognize Autumn is merely the beginning of many tea-soaked months.
Rather than fly away, we choose to nose-dive in wholeheartedly. We bring you 3 teas inspired by everything the migrating birds left behind.
I really like this explanation and how it fits with the three teas chosen for this month. This particular tea is the “empty nest”!
And I really am liking this tea!
If you are a frequent reader here, you may know that I am not as fond of pu-erh as I am other types of tea. But I am gaining an appreciation for it with each new tasting. This Shu (meaning “cooked” pu-erh) is full of surprises!
My first surprise was the aroma of the dry nest. It is earthy, yes, but, the earthy notes are not as strong as I usually find with a Shu. I can also smell notes of corn and even a hint of mint nestled in the mini tuo cha. The brewed liquor has a stronger corn scent. Earthy notes are still present, but, they are significantly softer than the dry leaf.
The second surprise is in my gaiwan. Usually, when I steep these little nests, the tea remains in a little mass at the bottom of the gaiwan… but this pu-erh seems to be very loosely packed into the nest, as it fell apart. And what it revealed to me was not only the deep brown and almost-black colored leaves, but also green leaves in there.
The flavor … is like WOW! Corn! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a tea that has such a profound corn flavor as this. It tastes like roasted corn to me … like when you go out to the fair … the roasted corn on the cob? Yeah, that is what I’m tasting. I LOVE roasted corn on the cob, and I have tried my hand at roasting my own corn on the cob but with very little success. I can never seem to capture that same flavor of the fair. But… interestingly enough, this tea has!
The sweetness is a corn-like sweetness, reminding me a bit of sweet corn cakes. The mouthfeel is remarkably light and has a crispness to it. It feels cleaner on the palate than any other pu-erh I’ve ever tasted.
This is a remarkable pu-erh. I recommend this to all tea enthusiasts out there, especially to those who want to gain a stronger appreciation for pu-erh, and have had some unfortunate experiences with it in the past. This pu-erh is unlike any other I’ve ever tried, and certainly one that you should try!