This tea is an unreleased sampling that Brenden gave me to try out. I don’t have/can’t remember much of the information about this tea so, Brenden, you’ll have to update it correctly :)
*Update, Brenden just told me it isn’t to be released until October of 2017 so… you’ll just have to PINE for it until then. (See what I did there? It may be the tea drunk talking)
He gave me an 11g chunk and I split it into an even two serving sizes of a little over 5g each.
With the leaves resting in a preheated gaiwan, the smell coming off of them was a really nice classic puerh scent but with almost a hint of vanilla wafting up. I gave it a ten second rinse.
1st steep, 12 seconds- The scent coming off of the liquor is, again, a soft and semi sweet puerh. Not really basement or heavy loam but an airy scent that is reminiscent of the smell you get when you take a walk in the woods right around mid October. The scent of the leaves falling and dying but not quite rotted leaf pile that sometimes gets described with puerh. I am actually taken aback by how smooth and drinkable this steep is. I keep sipping it and asking myself, “Is it really this smooth or am I just being a fan boy of Whispering Pines Tea?” But, I honestly do believe that this has a drinkability factor that is off the charts. It isn’t that the flavor is super complicated as of now. It isn’t. But it IS tasty. And it IS creamy and smooth. And I COULD chug this all day long.
Second steep, 15 seconds- I’m getting a little bit of a wet wood scent off of the leaves after this steep. Not heavy, mind you. The flavor on this steep is a little heavier on the soil/leaf mould but just as smooth. I find myself taking a sip and than before I can set my cup down, raising it back to my mouth for another sip. Oh man. This is good. Like, one of the best shou’s I’ve ever had good. Now, full transparency, I’ve had less than 20 different puerhs. But this… Mmmm. It is probably one of the only puerhs that I just want to gulp down because it is so good.
3rd steep, 12 seconds. Scaled the time back by a few seconds for the 3rd steep as the leaves are starting to really be penetrated by the water and release more color and flavor. I guess I haven’t really been describing the color. It has been a consistent dark hickory for the first two steeps. This one, however, is pretty dark. Almost like a cola that had a few ice cubes melt into it. Not the complete black but maybe like a dark chocolate caramel color. I was right to back off on the time by a few seconds. The flavor is intensified. There is a little loam coming in on this steep. Still smooth though! And, pssst, the tea drunk feeling is starting to sink in. A little fuzzy head feeling, loose-y goose-y, singing along to Pandora. This’ll work, ya’ll.
4th steep, 15 seconds- The liquor is still very dark. The flavor is still fairly consistent. It is a little heavier on the leaf pile flavor but in the best, smoothest way possible. You’ll need to forgive me. As much as I would love to be a word smith, I sometimes fall short on descriptions when the tea tends to be so consistent. What I can add is that while the flavor intensity has ramped up, I don’t get a lot of aftertaste. In this instance, I think that is a good thing. Sometimes when I have had a puerh, especially one with more of that basement fermentation going on, there tends to be a bit of an aftertaste that isn’t all together pleasant. This doesn’t have that. If anything, after my cup is empty, I find myself brewing as quickly as possible to get the flavor into my mouth again.
5th steep, 20 seconds- The liquid seems to have lightened up by a shade on this steep. It is still dark but now it is more of a walnut brown. Another way to put it is that I can see the sides of my cup about 1/4 of an inch down into the tea rather than just staring into a black abyss. The flavor intensity has leveled out a little as well. This is the first steep where I felt it was slightly watery. I’ll step up the steep time.
6th steep, 30 seconds. The color is about the same as last steep but I’m not getting watery anymore. Alright guys… I’m going to wrap this up.. I’m probably the most tea buzzed I’ve ever been and I’ve got stuff.. and things.. to do. I’ll still be sipping on this though. Or chugging.
Summary: This is a homerun. Keep this tea in mind because I feel like it is really going to be a hit when it is released. Bravo, Brenden.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Forest Floor, Loam, Smooth, Vanilla