Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: The Essence of Tea
The flavour is thick and pure, with a hint of bitterness transforming into a long sweetness in the mouth. The tea is balanced throughout the mouth and throat, with the strong qi immediately present upon drinking.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m finding this pu-erh to be quite unusual from the pu-erh I’ve tasted in the past. Not that I would consider myself to be a connoisseur of tea by any means … I’m more of a novice when it comes to pu-erh. But I have tried a good number of pu-erh, and it is from those experiences that I can say that this one is a bit unusual.
The sip starts out sweet and smooth – nothing unusual there. But at the point where the palate begins to recognize and appreciate the sweetness, a savory bitterness arrives, and I find the contrast compelling. I don’t find the bitterness to be a distasteful one, so I find myself wanting a different word to replace “bitterness,” because so often it is used to denote an off-putting flavor, and this is not off-putting.
There is an overtone of smokiness to this pu-erh that melds pleasantly with the earthy tones. It has hints of woody notes in the background, and even some hints of mineral. As I continue to sip and throughout the infusions (I steeped this tea six times), I found that the aforementioned bitterness developed into more of a a sour note, which seemed to complete the sweetness in a very pleasing way.
This is a most intriguing pu-erh… I find the balance of flavor and contrasts to be so interesting that it keeps me sipping with curiosity. It also makes me wonder how different the 2010 Mansai Puerh Tea from The Essence of Tea might be from its younger sibling. Perhaps this is a tea I will have to try at some point.
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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