This was another very competitively priced offering from Harney & Sons. As I mentioned in an earlier review, Harney gives you great value for your buck, plus fast and free shipping.
Pu-erh is an interesting variety in itself. People seem to love it or hate it. Personally, I’m one of its lovers- when it is good. My wife, on the other hand, is repulsed and almost sickened just by the memory of her lone Pu-erh experience. The one time I successfully coaxed her to try a sip, the agonized look on her face made me worry that her head was going to explode.
I have tried one or two Pu-erh products that I didn’t love, like, or want to spend time with again. Hopefully this one will fall into a beloved category since I rolled the dice and bought a pound of it untasted.
When I opened Harney & Sons’ one pound bag, I was immediately greeted by the familiar deeply earthy and worn leather smell that is Pu-erh. The look of the brown leaves, which always reminds me of finely ground wood mulch, also did not stand out as anything unusual for this tea type.
As is my custom for preparing Pu-erh, I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed color was a very dark brown, almost like molten chocolate. The aroma was definitely all Pu-erh (which has to be experienced to understand).
The tea had full and robust Pu-erh flavor: earthy, leathery, and of the dirt. However, it was extremely smooth for this variety. There was absolutely no astringency. There was also an inherent mildness to the taste that I don’t always find in Pu-erh teas. Even the aftertaste was extremely amiable and gentle. I had to force myself to slow down my sipping because it was one of those exceptional teas I like so much that I subconsciously shift into chugging mode. My cup (and then pot) was a delight from start to finish.
If you have anti-Pu-erh activists in your house, this might be the product to move them to the other side of the aisle. I might even try to muster up the courage to ask my wife to try it.
This tea so greatly exceeded my expectations that I now consider it one of my best tea finds of all-time. I am also feeling so lucky after taking a chance on a full pound purchase, that I am strongly considering buying a lottery ticket today. ;-)
Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Leather