Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: ESGreen
This mini tea cake was made by high-level material made from broad-leaved wild tea trees. Traditional court recipe.
The vintage year is 2002, which is over 10 year now.
Learn more about this pu-erh here.
As I’ve mentioned (more than once!), I’ve had a very difficult relationship with Pu-erh. It started off really bad … and I think it is those bad memories that taint my experiences with Pu-erh even now. And really, I don’t think it was the fault of the Pu-erh back then… it was my lack of knowledge. I didn’t know how to brew a Pu-erh properly, and I ended up with a very earthy dark tea that made me think I was drinking a very thin mud rather than tea. It wasn’t pleasant.
But that was then, and this is now!
And I have learned quite a bit since then, I have learned better ways of brewing tea. I have come to embrace the gaiwan as not a “gadget” but an essential tool for tea making. I love my gaiwan, because I have not only rediscovered the joy of Oolong but have also learned there is much joy to be discovered even with a tea I once disliked: Pu-erh!
It’s the earthiness that was off-putting. And when brewed improperly, a Pu-erh can be overwhelmingly earthy, so much so that it is really REALLY off-putting. But when brewed correctly, a Pu-erh can be so delightfully complex while maintaining a mellow character that is really quite enjoyable.
This Pu-erh is indeed earthy – but the strongest earthy tones are experienced in its aroma, when the tea is in its dry cake form. After a quick rinse and a 30 second infusion, I smell and taste only a very delicate earthiness, which is layered with an intense sweetness that is like caramel. It is very smooth.
I’ve often heard Pu-erh compared to a “fishy” taste but I don’t taste that here. There is a slight mushroom-y/earthy flavor to it, but not at all fishy. The sweetness is what I taste most, it is very mellow and remarkably smooth. It’s a really excellent value, too, because I got six very flavorful infusions from one mini tea cake, and I think it would have given many more!
This is one of those Pu-erh teas that I’d recommend to someone who has had bad luck with Pu-erh in the past … this is a good one and certainly worthy of a try. You might just find this one to your liking!
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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