Thank-you to Whispering Pines for this Pu’erh sample!
Sunday afternoon I was ready for my second session on a live Google+ video chat with my new ‘teageek’ group. Our discussion was set for a Liu An Basket-aged heicha tea (which I had never heard of before).
One by one members joined in from Canada, Australia, Seattle, California, New York, Oregon and Eric (Happy Luckys) and I in Colorado. (There are others in other locations who come and go). It’s so much fun!
The reason I’ve been mentioning this group is that so many people have said, "I wish I had a place like Happy Lucky’s to go and drink tea!
“Bonnie is so fortunate to have a tea pub in her town!”
So why couldn’t a few Steepsters get together now and then to drink tea on a google+ video chat?
It’s so easy to do! Pick a common tea, discuss it and enjoy each other’s company! Think about it!
Back to this tea!
I didn’t have one of the basket tea’s to taste for the meeting so I began about an hour earlier with some Imperial Shou to get myself in
a proper fine state of mind.
I had been reading about several methods that two very different
experts use to prepare Pu-erh . One is more geared to hospitality and ritual, going to great lengths to preserve multiple steeping’s over a long time period.
The second method is faster, poking the leaves during steeping to release more flavor, and keeping the steep time at about 30 seconds.
I chose the second method.
I used a 4oz. Gaiwan and I understand that this Pu-erh is from the Menghai factory.
1. The wet leaves had the scent of sweet leather, mushrooms and vanilla and the liquor was golden brown.
This first cup tasted smooth and sweet with no earthiness. There was a little cedar flavor but not much. I felt a mulch, fuzz texture and sensed that this was going to be a special tea.
2. I picked at the Toucha while it was steeping then poured the tea through a strainer. The wet leaves smelled like black cherry,
and liquor looked like very dark drippings from a pot-roast.
I was stunned at how exquisite the taste was. The mouth-feel was smooth and silky like a placid lake. The flavor was close to a pot of creamy bitter hardly sweet chocolate still warm on a spoon, being licked off and melting in my mouth.
There was a very light cedar flavor at the finish but not much.
It was the silkiness that impressed me so much.
3. The leaves were now completely disintegrated from the little Tuocha and they looked black, holding a light leather aroma.
The liquor was still deep espresso brown.
I can’t remember ever tasting a Pu-erh that tasted like CAKE but this one did! How? I dunno! This was good! How interesting and continuing to be very smooth!
(I noticed that the water had been a little cooler, and maybe it had been a factor. I don’t know.) This was so delicious that I was impressed. Most Toucha’s are just not this complex!
Because of the cake taste, I added a little sweetening to the last of my cup which made the tea very caramel, creme brulee tasting.
A nice little dessert flavor.
I went one more steep, still finding the leaves full bodied, rich and smooth. Filling my cup again, which I took to my desk for my ‘teageek’ discussion group.
My vote on this Pu-erh is a big thumbs up! Whispering Pines picked up a fine quality Toucha!