This tea took some getting used to at first, but now I adore it. Nuo Mi Xiang, a Chinese herb, is added to impart the so-called sticky rice flavor.
The tea is best with very hot water, among other reasons, because it adds to the experience of having a steaming bowl of sticky rice. Very comforting on cold days.
The pu-erh component is not one of those overwhelmingly earthy types. It reminds me of something more like decaying plant matter or humus. Think autumn.
Like tasting carob when you’re expecting chocolate, the sticky rice taste a bit disappointing at first. The comparison is especially evident in the aftertaste and smell, but a big gulp of heavily steeped Nuo Mi Xiang will overwhelm most people. One must be very careful with the length first steeping because of this. Though the pu-erh component can certainly withstand a long steeping, one must refuse the temptation and treat it more like green tea. A couple minutes will do the trick.
The second steeping is the most enjoyable. It can handle a few more minutes and tends to taste a little more pu-erh-ish.
The third steeping needs quite a while to retain the taste of the tea. Luckily by then, the effect of the herb should have worn off. That being said, just treat it like the second or third steeping of a pu-erh.
As usual, I don’t think to review the tea until I’m on the 3rd steeping, so this note lacks a bit of specifics.
Flavors: Decayed wood, Rice