JK Tea – Pasha Village Small Tree Raw Pu Erh Tea

This tea has a robust, deep, tart, and woodsy feel. It reminds me, oddly, of some kind of classy alcohol. Maybe, like, bourbon?

Something that a successful CEO would pour out of a crystal decanter. “This is the finest 100-year-old whatever,” he’d puffily boast. “It has spent all that time in the most fancy type of wood possible.”

His other men would gather around and sip it in their fancy glasses and go “ah, a fine year. GOES DOWN SMOOTH.”

Now, as you can tell by this description, I don’t know much about alcohol; but I do know a bit about tea, and I can tell you that it’s distinctly pu erh, in the best way possible. It doesn’t have that tragic fish taste that they sometimes do. It is just a solid, distinctive flavor that keeps it real. It’s masculine, but not so much so that I’m choking on smokiness or bitterness.

I think that this tea is just the right thing to drink at work. Gotta earn those dollars.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu Erh

Where to Buy:  JK Tea

Description

Tea tree: small tea tree over 80 years old from one single tea plantation only.   Vintage: 2013 Spring

Picking standard: One bud with two leaves  Fermentation: Raw  Shape: Tight, fat, plump.   Dried tea color: dark yellowish green color  Aroma: high floral aroma, and honey fragrance  Tea soup color: Yellow color  Taste: flowery and honey taste, sweet.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Glutinous Rice Scent Tea Fossil Pu-erh Cooked Tea from AprTea Mall

I will be the first to admit it.  I am intimidated by Puerh teas.  But each and every time I have one, I love it.  Not sure why I have this apprehension but I’m hoping this is the year I tear that wall down.

This particular puerh was a different bird all together from what I’ve had in the past.  Instead of being tea leaves or a cake, the tea looked to be broken pieces of a cake.  The smell of the tea instantly reminds me of sushi and my mouth starts to water.  To really get all my senses involved with this tea, I went ahead and used my Wall Infuser Mug, scooped some tea into the mug and added some freshly prepped water. Probably not the proper way to enjoy this tea, but I wanted to prepare the tea in a more familiar way this first go.

After a few moments, I couldn’t resist the alluring tea anymore and had to take a sip.  This tea.  This tea is really good. And that is coming from someone that isn’t all that knowledgeable in the matters of darker teas.  The first steeping really delivered this thicker sort of sweet liquid that I eagerly took down.  Really delicious and not at all like the puerhs I’ve had in the past.  The smell was similiar but that the taste. Gotta love a tea that smells like sushi but has a sweeter stonefruit taste.

The second steeping and additional steepings resulted in the same style of flavor.  A sweetness with a thicker feel. Such a complete pleasure and such a wonderful tea to drink.  I actually drank this tea for hours and just never felt that the leaves were fully exhausted of their flavor.  Being the first rice scent puerh I’ve had, I’m hoping I can mimic this result with other varieties later on and even later this week with the remaining puerh I have.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Puerh
Where to Buy:  AprTea Mall
Description

Tea Fossil: the soul of Pu’er tea, Ten years of pure dry storage, named as [broken silver], the aroma is very full, fast and lasting Gan Gan, long-lasting high foam resistance, can bubble more than 40 times, especially the taste: the entrance of thick rice soup incense. Can be described as the essence of tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Notes on 2015 Shou Mei / Verdant Tea. . . .

Zero degrees and getting colder. The past few weeks have been full of intense cold and winter storms. Makes this one want a floral tea to remind me spring isn’t too far away. And vacation is even closer. This 2015 shou mei has a silky mouth-feel with no astringency.

After I unwrapped the ball I noticed that the leaves were an array of colors. Usual leaf colors nothing crazy. It reminds me of the bark on a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree except darker with less pop. The flavor is quite floral with honeysuckle and other unique garden flowers. Scents of rose and gardenia overflow your senses if you smell the wet leaf. Just lovely!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Verdant Teas
Description:

No description as this one is not currently being sold on the site and is no longer available, however, the general description given for most shou is workable.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Limited Yiwu Spring 2016 from Bitterleaf Teas

I’m not usually a pu erh tea drinker but I saw the lovely label from Kelly Puissegur on the Yiwu Spring 2016 blend from Bitterleaf Teas and had to give it a go.  This is a limited run of tea, so you won’t be able to get this exact blend anymore, but the same tea harvest for 2017 can be found in the year of the rooster blend.

This tea starts off like many of my past pu erh tea sessions.  The scents are intense and fermented, and off-putting to me as a prelude for something I’m about to taste.  The aroma isn’t bad exactly, in fact with smells like old books or leather or wet grass, I find the flavors to be nostalgic and dreamy; they just aren’t something I’d personally want to smell right before I take a sip.

I steeped this tea over the course of a session, brewing several times.  Before I even tasted it, I stepped for 1 minute in 200F water to rinse and let the leaves open up.  After that I steeped for increasing 5 second intervals.

The first brew had the typical hay barn scent I expect, but less fermented and much more fresh.  Almost like green grapes or wet peony flowers. The brightness in the first steep was a pleasant surprise.

In the second steep there was more white tea buttery earthiness, but still the green grapes and peony came through on the aftertaste.  The tea is very smooth on the tongue.

In the third steep the hay scent was more gentle and the overall flavors were more relaxed.  The brew was sweeter almost like cacao earth tones and smooth honey floral flavors, paired with a very pleasant caramelly mouthfeel.

On the fourth steep and beyond, the tea still holds up the fresh grape and peony tones, but eventually the earthy cacao flavors end up taking over.

I’m not a pu erh expect but this tea took me by surprise and contained pleasantly complex flavors that I wasn’t expecting.  Be bold and try one of Bitterleaf Teas’ pu erh harvests for your next brew.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Pu erh
Where to Buy: Bitter Leaf Teas
Description:

This Yiwu raw puer is one of our two Year of the Monkey puers. The material for this tea comes from a recently transitioned fang yang (literally meaning “left to grow”) garden that receives minimal human interference, to the extent that all weeding is done once a year by hand (taking up to one month) and is harvested only in the Spring. The tea itself has an initial and surprising honey-like sweetness at the front, which yields to some slight roughness and unique lasting aroma. With good cha qi/tea energy and a solid mineral fragrance that lingers, this is a strong candidate for storage.

Typical of Yiwu teas, this one is on the softer side of things for now, but still maintains a solid backbone with plenty to offer. This also makes it a very drinkable young raw puer, and well suited for beginners and experienced drinkers alike. Don’t be fooled though, Yiwu teas tend to age well, even if they seem lighter in their early years.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!