Got this as one of the free samples from my Teavivre shipment, I’ve never tried a straight Pu’erh before and thought this would be a good chance to give it a shot. I actually got three different samplings of Pu’erh tea from Teavivre but read somewhere on their site that this is the one to try first. So here it goes.
Dry the tea is compressed into a tiny birds nest of dark brown leaves, and there was a small amount of powdered leaf left in the wrapper. I also found very little scent to the dried leaf, what little there was smelled of loam and old leather, a few hits of mushrooms too.
After a good rinse my first steeping was for 15seconds and left me with a dark brown liquor that had a bit of particulate settled at the bottom. The aroma was of leather, loam and a dark woodsy scent. As for the flavor, there was definite smokey favors mixed into the wood/loam base. I also noticed a certain astringency that started mid sip but by the time I noticed it it had already been replaced by a heavier sweetness; that said it’s quite a smooth drink. I don’t enjoy the flavors much once the tea has cooled though.
The second steeping was for 10sec and wow did that ever give me a dark brown-black liquor, it made me feel like I was going to be drinking coffee. The leather scent was more predominant now, though there was still the dark woodsy notes in there. Flavor wise, the earthy loam notes were lighter and with less smoke this steeping, plus I got a few more mushroom favors.
A third steeping of 10 seconds gave me a dark brown liquor that smelled of wood, loam and a bit of smoke. The dark loam flavor was lightened slightly by the woodsy taste and the mouthful ended off on a somewhat astringently sweet note.
I did one last steeping of 15seconds (this certainly could have stood up for further steepings but I had to head out for the day.). The medium-dark brown liquor smelled of loam and mushrooms with just a touch of smoke. The flavor was probably the mildest of all the steepings, earthy but sweet at the same time. The flavor lingered a bit after each sip as well, compared to the previous cups where the flavors just sat on your tongue.
For my first straight Pu’erh I think this went well, I’m not a huge fan but it could grow on me. I’ll definitely have to try the other samples and see how they sit before I make any sweeping statements (or even rate this one specifically. ) After that I’ll try this again and see if anything has changed.