Crassicolumna Sheng + Tea Flower Cake / Verdant

Never judge a pu er by it’s cake. If you think a tea cake is a cake made with sugar and tea you would be 50% correct. A tea cake, generally made with pu er, is made by pressing leaves together to form a circle. Pu er is unique in that it is actually a subcategory of dark tea.

Don’t know what Dark tea is? Go to Google and prepare to have your mind blown! Moving on, I’ve been breaking the cake apart with a knife but I now realize I should probably be using something more akin to a flathead screwdriver. The wrong method can create finer pieces.

Of course, I’m a noob when it comes to pu er in general so this is all a new learning experience for me. As far as flavor goes I find it earthy. Dry forest floor. Very little astringency. Pu er is a very forgiving tea. The suggested steep time is 10 seconds for Gong fu method and 30 seconds for American style.

Luckily if you are forgetful or easily distracted *ooo shiny* you can be assured that it won’t become overly tannic.


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Leaf Type: Pu Er

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

Camellia crassicolumna is a close relative to the tea plant, growing wild in the forests of Qianjiazhai alongside Camellia sinensis var. assamica and many other near-relative species that are even now being categorized by botanists. Crassicolumna grows distinctively tall, making it very difficult to pick, but the payoff is a deeply complex spice-forward flavor, and intense lingering sweetness, all without caffeine. When finished like sheng pu’er, Camellia crassicolumna ages just like tea into deeper complexity.

Mr. Zhou blended the giant crassicolumna leaves with about 10% tea flowers picked from wildly propagated Camellia sinensis var. assamica plants. These flowers add a tiny amount of caffeine back into the mix, but also add deep sweetness and a sunny marigold profile, rounding out the crisp edge of the Crassicolumna with layers of sweet deep complexity.

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Chocolate Truffle Organic Pu-Erh Tea/Fraser Tea. . . .

This delicious, sweet, creamy goodness is a mix of rich pu’erh tea, cacoa nibs, and flower petals (mostly for appearance, I suspect). The flavor profile of this is a warm chocolate bar. One that will kick you awake with caffeine.

My husband and I like to walk around on New Years Eve in our town, look at ice sculptures, and drink hot chocolate. This tastes like that night. It tastes like the excitement of a new year. It tastes like a red nose and hand-holding.

It tastes, possibly, like a trip to the ski lodge, though I don’t EVER participate in sports, so I wouldn’t know.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet picker-upper, give this one a whirl!


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Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

Decadent Chocolate Truffle is an organic, healthful beverage with calming effects. Delight in the richness of chocolate and comforting cream in your first sip of this high quality organic Pu-erh tea. Fraser Tea handpicks all teas and chose this Pu-erh variety for its ability to improve with time. Often used as a slimming tea for those working to manage weight and wellness, this tea is sought all over the world.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Polka Dot Bikini/Fraser Tea. . .

Our family loves puerh tea, so I saved this organic offering as a special treat for our next gathering. I have had chocolate puerh, rich and dark. I have had dried orange puerh, dark tea with bright citrus notes. I expected this to be a combination of the two.

Well, it wasn’t at all what I expected, but I loved what I got! The scent was very sweet and candy-like, and the tea color and body were both light. The puerh is pretty subdued in scent and taste.

The aroma was strong, and it finally hit me. It smelled like orange-flavored baby aspirin chewables, those tiny pills I loved as a child! Seriously, they should make those for adults! The chocolate is the pure chocolate taste you get from cocoa nibs, not the cloying candy kind, and it goes great with the orange.

Everyone loved it and we were able to resteep the leaves several times with great results.

The tea is called Polka Dot Bikini and it just might help get ready for a spring and summer packed with activities all day long. Puerh is traditionally used to aid digestion, lower cholesterol, and alleviate symptoms of a hangover, and is considered a weight loss tea in China. In Asian traditional medicine, eleuthero is used for increasing chi (energy) and has been studied as an adaptogen. If it works, it will keep that beach volleyball game going all afternoon.

There is fennel in this, also used as a digestive aid, but it was very light. I wouldn’t have known it was there if I hadn’t seen the ingredient list, but I am sire it is contributing to the overall silky, sweet, bright flavor of the blend.

I loved this tea hot, and I think it is a safe bet that would make an awesome iced tea to accompany all your summertime activities.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

For a delicious treat that is ripe with many health benefits, try Polka Dot Bikini Organic Pu-erh Tea.  Believed to help break down fat cells, organic pu-erh tea is blended with fresh cocoa nibs, orange peel, fennel, and powerful eleuthero root to bolster stamina.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pu-Erh Bordeaux/Socra Tea Detroit. . . .

This tea evokes the flavor of Bordeaux (red) wine by pairing pu’erh with berries, florals, grape skins. When steeped in water, the tea immediately darkens into a lovely red-brown. (The hibiscus petals probably help with that.)

Despite the deep color, the flavor is very mellow. It’s deep earth and fermentation notes, mostly, from the pu’erh, which doesn’t fade to the background as teas often do when they have a flavor profile they’re trying to emulate. The grapes are a little tart and sweet, but not as strong as I might have expected.

I don’t mind this smooth and calming pu’erh, but I think that with so many ingredients, I was expecting something more potent. It’s possible that’s why the tea is no longer available on the site. Not every tea can be a smashing success, but I’m glad I tried it.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy:  Socra Tea Detroit

Description

This puerh is no longer available but click below for ones that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White2Tea – 2016 Daily Drinker

White2Tea says that this Daily Drinker is a tea “for the everyday”, “for the people.” I was like “uh, what does that… mean?”

I’m still not sure what that means.

But I *do* know that this orchid/honey tea is incredibly sweet while still not losing that rustic pu erh charm. It’s aged, but in a way that’s not rancid, or fishy, or musty, or cardboard-y, or whatever else you might fear out of pu erh.

It’s like an orchid oolong that’s in a retirement home, still sweet and sharing jokes that have been worn smooth and refined through multiple retellings. She’s the old lady in the nursing home that has a boyfriend (YOU GO GIRL) and slips other people’s grandkids the best candy.

This is one of the first teas I’ve ever drank that came from a cake, which meant it was a little more work. I had to snap off bits and try to crumble the right amount into my steeper. I think I gave it a good whack.

I don’t know what makes a tea a “daily drinker.” I sort of imagine it as an old shoe that you know will fit you nicely, even if you don’t wear it on special occasions. But that seems… somehow disparaging of the tea? Like “oh, this old thing? I drink it daily. I don’t even notice it any more.”

I think that this tea deserves to be a little more special. I shall drink it only every once in a while, until it’s complete.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu Erh

Where to Buy:  White2Tea

Description

A blend of raw Puer material meant for the daily grind. Sweetness and a delightful fragrance.  Solid, reliable, affordable, and better quality than you’d expect for the price. Tea for the everyday. Tea for the people.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!