Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Aged Pu-erh tea is created by secondary-oxidation and post-fermentation tea.  This type of Pu-erh tea is referred to as ripened, or cooked, Pu-erh, which has a rich, mellow and earthy flavor.  Unlike many other teas which should be consumed shortly after production, such as green and white teas, Pu-erh tea can either be brewed immediately or it can be stored and aged for many years, much like a fine wine.  Most Pu-erh teas are classified by the year they were produced and the region they were grown in, much like many wine vintages.  In fact, when it comes to Pu-erh tea, the longer it is stored and aged properly, the more complex the flavor and the more valuable the tea gets.  Many aged Pu-erh teas are served in Chinese restaurants after heavy meals, as Pu-erh tea is known for it’s ability to break down fat, also making it a great weight loss tea!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little afraid to try this Pu-erh, as I worried it might end up tasting a little too earthy for my palate.  It was the name of the tea that frightened me … “ripened aged” usually says to me “very earthy.”

But after unwrapping the individually wrapped tuocha and inhaling deeply, I noticed only a hint of earthiness to the aroma.  In fact, the aroma of the dry leaf is very indistinct, with mere insinuations of an earthiness.

The flavor is more earthy than the aroma of the dry leaf would suggest, but, I am not finding it to be TOO earthy.  Perhaps it is because beneath that earthy overtone, I taste this underlying note of delicious caramel-y sweetness.  And even the earthiness here I find to be very interesting, as it seems to interchange with a deep, woodsy kind of flavor.

Overall, this has a very rustic kind of flavor to it … very masculine.  It is very smooth and mellow, with no bitterness whatsoever and no astringency either.  After my first couple of sips, I added just a little bit of turbinado sugar to see how that would affect the flavor and it ended up giving the caramel-like sweetness I mentioned earlier a very molasses-y kind of taste … very nice indeed!  I like how that molasses flavor marries with the masculine flavors of wood and earth.  This would also probably taste wonderful as a latte!  Might have to try that sometime soon!

Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of “Gramma” and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

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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