Rainy Day Pu’erh from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

This pu’erh chai blend is recommended by Plum Deluxe to counter “literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds.”

I really like the phrase “emotional dark clouds.” Plum Deluxe has this cute, holistic, meditative quality to their writing. They take into consideration the human response and culture surrounding tea.

And what might be the solution to such a dark day? A corresponding dark tea. Something strong enough to withstand a battle. If this were Lord of the Rings, maybe a sturdy dwarf warrior with a raven-colored beard would do.

When I steeped this, the leaves’ darkness whooshed into the water immediately, settling onto an amber that descended into brown over the next few moments.

The resulting flavor is very earthy and rich, with little spice notes, and a sweetness that’s a bit reminiscent of molasses. It’s strong, and it’s just what you need to blaze forth into your day with a little more fire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Puerh
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Whether it’s literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds, our sweet-n-spicy puerh blend is just what you need for a comfort kick.

We use a rich, earthy puerh as the base, add in the cinnamon bark, ginger, and other spices, then pair them with a sweet cinnamon oil reminiscent of brown sugar. It brings sweetness while keeping it balanced — just what a rainy day calls for!

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Earth from Story of My Tea. . . . .

I travel a lot to Texas with my kiddo, so when I saw a Houston-based tea company, I knew I had to learn more. This Kickstarter-founded company, called Story of my Tea, recently offered two of their new Hello! pre-measured iced teas for free (just pay S&H) ….. an iced teaser, if you will 😉

I’m familiar with cold brewing tea bags, but what really got me about this company was the awesome variety of blends. I chose Rhubarb Oolong and Chocolate Earth (a puerh and white tea blend) as my free samples.

First off, their packaging is really clever. The back of the sealed foil packet has clear steeping instructions for both hot and cold steeping (has anyone noticed a taste difference between these styles?). Then there’s a QR code you can just scan which shows you much, much more about using each blend with food pairings.

Inside is an enormous 5×3(ish) inch unbleached bag of cocoa-scented leaves. I can’t see clearly the percentage mix of white and fermented tea (or other flavorings).

I noticed that the wet puerh leaves didn’t expand and fill the satchel the way the oolong bag did after brewing, but I was still grateful for that extra room because 1) I am relieved there’s enough room for the leaves to expand and release all their flavor and 2) this ENORMOUS bag means I can now brew four big cups at a time instead of just one!

My first infusion was copper and the second, longer steep became a mahogany color, exactly the same colors as an aging penny. The liquor smelled of a molassesy s’more.

Sipping it… well, you know how silk invites you to run your hand along the cool, soft fabric? Chocolate Earth feels exactly like that in your mouth. Buttery smooth, it excites first as cocoa and moves to all taste buds, then lingers sweetly for just a moment with a vanilla bourbon.

I have an affirmation board near my tea cupboard that literally reminds me “I HAVE ENOUGH TEA” , but somehow it did not deter me from this purchase Ha.  It also has a list of what teas I want to buy when my cupboard stops overflowing. Anyhow, on the list was Numi’s chocolate Puerh, (which I discovered in my first Zen Tea Bar box and absolutely loved), But now that line has been replaced with Story of My tea’s Hello! Chocolate Earth – – it’s THAT awesome.


 

Here’s the scoop!

Tea Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Story of My Tea

Description:

This tea has the milky and caramel notes of the white tea, is extremely smooth and very aromatic. Is great iced as a dessert or after a summer BBQ.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Young Ripened Puerh from Enjoying Tea. . . .

Attention everyone: I have found a pure pu’erh (no added flavors) that I like!

Oh my gosh. I should have told you to sit down first.

You are floored. Literally. Upon the ground. Let me help you up, darling.

Here. Sit on this fainting couch I keep in my heart specifically for revelations like this.

I’ve been looking for a pu’erh without flavoring for ages that I liked. It was up there with Matcha as a final hill I needed to climb to be a proper tea person. Of course, the notion of a “proper tea person” is a bit subjective. But I associate being able to drink all of them (including pu’erh and matcha) as a sign of being a member of the intelligentsia.

This drink, my golden exemplar of a pure pu’erh, my new BAAAABY, is a rich and earthy 2-year aged tea from the Yunnan province. It turns the water a warm red-brown. It has earth notes and slight spice notes and that feeling of a very slightly musty blanket that you just yanked from storage on an unseasonably chilly night.

The slight note of mustiness maybe sounds displeasing, depending on how you are. But I grew up in a household where the basement was a key player. We didn’t have air conditioning, so we slept down there all the time. The whole family. Everything smelled slightly musty, even with the dehumidifier going full-throttle, full-time.

The basement was by far my favorite place. As my brother and I aged, my parents had about half of it renovated, with carpet, and our family’s first computer (!), and a large (for the time) TV and VCR. We could watch the 1960s Batman movie again and again without bothering our parents at all. Nickelodeon. Slumber parties. Endless chips. Visiting friends. Getting that basement partially renovated was probably the best investment my parents ever made in the family’s collective mental health.

This tea takes me back there. It also moves me forward to a new world of opportunities for tea, self-growth, and — of course — pretending to be a member of the intelligentsia.

Look out, matcha. I’m coming for you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Puerh
Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea
Description

This ripen Puerh Tea is from Yunnan provenience in China. Quality Yunnan tea leaves and buds are selected for post fermentation that allows the tea to fully ripen. The ripen tea are allowed to age for around 2 years. Doctors in Kunming reported that drinking this tea helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream and helps digestion. The Puerh with dark and reddish black leaves makes a heavy thick tea with strong earthy aroma. It is very popular in the Cantonese Tea House and normally consume with Dim Sum. This tea is commonly mixed with chrysanthemum flower to create a Chinese Restaurant Tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. . . .

I recently finished up my sample of Red Pearls (Hong Zhen Zhu) from Silk Road Teas. I’m not going to lie…a single, small, dramatic tear ran down the side of my face as I consumed the last sips of this wonderful infusion!

The color of the liquor itself was VERY dark laying there in my cuppa. It paired perfectly with the rainy days we have been having lately. Not that this is a gloom and doom cup but more like a comforting cuppa, instead!

This is a high-grade Mao Feng leaf that has been rolled into shiny small pearls and oxidized to a deep brown color.

It’s softly aromatic, offers a touch of smokiness, and has a light, naturally sweet finish.

The word I keep coming back to with this taste of tea is molasses! Not sure why but that is what this one reminds me of…molasses! It’s sweet, dark, thick, bold, tarry-malty, and delicious!

A black tea many to most would be PROUD to have in their stash! I know I was darn delighted!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas
Description

A high-grade Mao Feng leaf has been rolled into a shiny small pearl and oxidized to a deep brown color. The result is an unusual and rare Fujian Province black tea that is softly aromatic, offering a touch of smokiness and a light, naturally sweet finish. Cup color is a rich red and clean. Our lot is very well made, the craftsmanship is apparent. This style of black tea was once quite common but in recent years has become rare as the processing of the leaf is quite difficult.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Toffee from DAVIDs Tea. . . . . . .

I love toffee. When I was younger I used to not even want them to be coated in chocolate, I just wanted that salty, sweet, and nutty toffee. As an adult, I appreciate the creamy chocolate coating much more, and when I think of an English Toffee tea, cocoa definitely comes to mind. So does caramel, nuts, and that buttery toffee taste. I have been eating toffee my entire life, I am a self proclaimed expert! So when I try any kind of toffee tea it is going to take a lot to knock my socks off.

I actually delayed trying this one for a while….it came in my Advent calendar over Christmastime from DAVID’s. (It’s May) I don’t really know why I delayed trying it, I guess I was just so busy trying other teas that I didn’t have the strongest interest. But today is a rainy and stormy day, and i’m in the mood for something comforting and chocolatey. My first thought when I took my first sip of this blend was that it would be an amazing latte. Some frothed milk and a caramel drizzle? Holy yum. My next thought was that I wish I had tried this over the winter because this tea would have been my favorite! I don’t usually drink pu’erh like at all…but I don’t mind it one bit! It is very smooth and holds up well to the rich and creamy flavors of cocoa, caramel, and browned butter. This tea is sweet and satisfying. A great dessert blend that would even go well in the morning as a latte with a shot of espresso. A delicious caffeine boost!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Puerh
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

This decadent, all-natural blend of pu’erh, cocoa and caramel is the perfect sweet treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!