Where To Buy: Verdant Tea
Dry Leaf: Small black leaves and vibrant orange curled buds.
Aroma: Musty notes of a long-extinguished campfire, and the smells of hot chocolate and oatmeal with raisins.
Tea Color: The dark red-brown of rosewood, completely crystalline with tea oil swirling on the surface.
Taste through early steepings: Assertive and literally mouth watering spearmint and cedar notes which quickly evaporate off the palate leaving the sweetness of flaky pasty and dark mission figs. A few steepings in, a warmth builds up in the throat like the glow of red wine.
Taste in middle to late steepings: The dark fig sweetness develops into a deeply complex spice of ginger and ceylon cinnamon with hints of cracked peppercorn, while paradoxically becoming cooling on the tongue. The tip of the tongue is engaged by the subdued sweetness of raw sugar.
Steeped Leaf: Dark mahogany brown, with buds still tightly coiled.
Notes: This brick is an excellent investment. At a lower price point, this tea offers an incredibly intriguing and diverse set of flavors that could only grow with time.
Right up front I will say that this pu-erh blew me away! My favorite part were the plum and fig notes. I did do an infusion test with this one and think it would just be easier to show you how that went so – here goes!
My 1st infusion was for approx 5 seconds. The aroma after infusion was musky, woodsy, and raisin-like. The color was a light reddish brown. The taste was fairly malty with a hint of raisin or figs. I seemed to enjoy it a bit more after it cooled for just a few moments.
Infusion 2 was for 8-10 seconds. It was darker in color a nice medium brown. The aroma is musky and of PLUMS! Yum! The taste is Plum-like and near creamy. WOW! I enjoyed the 2nd infusion much more than the first. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the first but the 2nd touches my heart and soul a lot more! This is truly special!
My 3rd infusion was for 10 seconds or so. The color was Dark(er) Brown…much like a hefty black tea. The aroma: was a Bolder-Musky and a little less plum scent than the 2nd infusion. And the taste was creamier than the last infusion, still very plum like with the taste, semi-mouth watering.
I really like this 3rd infusion, too, I would say equally as the 2nd infusion but they taste distinctly different. This is very nice! I appreciate the change-up in flavors between infusions! This is a solid Pu-erh! Two cheers for Verdant Tea!
Where To Buy: Tao of Tea
Origin: Southern Yunnan, China
Introduction: The Tuocha refers to a family of bowl shaped teas, commonly available as Green tea Tuocha, Black tea Tuocha and Puer (aged) Tuocha. More recently, Tuochas have also become commonly available by compressing the tea leaves and flowers together, or by heat infusing them together. In making the Rose Tuocha, more mature leaves of the tea plant are selected in summer, sun-dried, steamed, oxidized to turn dark, then compressed along with rose petals into small bowls. Wrapped with paper, the Rose Tuocha are an ideal size (3 grams) for individual serving.
Flavor Profile: Sweet, smooth, very mild rose flavor with little astringency.
I decided to do an infusion test with this tuocha! Here are my findings:
The 1st infusion was incredibly smooth with slight rose aroma and flavors. It reminded me of the aroma of Seitan/Vegan Bacon! Before infusing. The taste is VERY good…VERY smooth and almost sweet! An awesome Pu-erh!
2nd infusion was completely different from the first…still good tho!
It’s darker in color (I could have over infused) and bolder taste-wise.
Not as sweet….more woodsy…I can also taste more of a floral rose too. It’s Malty yet smooth!
3rd infusion was still dark in color a little more wormy/woodsy and less sweet but more floral. There is a hint of something fruity…perhaps plum?
Not as malty – not as smooth but still strong!
4th infusion smells more like a plain black tea now…still dark in color…about the same darkness as before. There is a stronger fruit-like flavor…I’m thinking raisin, plum, maybe a berry of some sort…OH! Maybe Strawberry…yeah! It’s like if you were to take plums, strawberry, and raisins and create a hybrid fruit! This is very interesting and the sweetness has come back in full force!
I was going to stop with this infusion and switch teas but not I am wondering what the next infusion will bring! 🙂
5th infusion is much lighter in color. It has a Hay-Like Aroma. The taste is a paler strawberry and plum combo but a little bit of the sweetness returned!
I really like this infusion for the smoother and sweeter yet fruity notes! Still a good cuppa!