Last caffeine of the day, but first let’s play count the pu-erhs that I have in my cupboard but haven’t written about.
This is going to be a lot because I’m sort of afraid of pu-erh. Not of how it tastes, but of making it correctly.But I’m thinking that when I’ve made it through all the blacks in the cupboard I’ll have to gird my loins and go after these.
It’s not as intimidating as I thought. I have 21 untasted, unwritten about pu-erhs in the cupboard. However, I have many, many more samples that I have not entered in the cupboard.
What I’ve been doing with the oolongs is probably what I’ll do with the pu-erhs. I’ll taste a max of 2 per tasting a day, one a sample and one in the cupboard, until I get to the end of either of those groups.
This one has beautiful, chocolate to black colored leaves that are big and twisty. They have a sharp wood-mineral-stonefruit note in the tin.
Short steeps after rinsing. Starting at 15 sec at 195F. In the gaiwan.
The color is a really pretty apricot, and clear. I smell apricot-like stonefruit as well, and something darker and sweeter, like brown sugar. The sharpness of the dry leaf aroma isn’t apparent in the sip. It’s quite smooth. The tea has an earthy, slightly sweet flavor that also brings in a note of rocks after rain.
The second steep brought out an unexpected floral note and a hint of something that straddles cocoa and smoke. There’s a deceptiveness to this tea. It seems pretty straightforward, but the more you taste it the more it reveals its complexity.
The third steep heads back to the stonefruit notes but still with a floral aspect. If asked, I’d say I prefer green oolongs to dark. But when I drink something like this, I am reminded that I also quite enjoy dark oolongs. The aftertaste of the third steep has something about it that makes me think of masculine decor and hunting lodges. Dark wood, leather, cigars. I don’t really taste leather, I just think of it. But I do taste a wood note, and a tobacco one.
The fourth steep makes me think of dark sweet things like molasses, though I don’t think it really tastes like molasses so much as caramelized sugar.
I was so enjoying the flavor parade that I went for a fifth steep (I’m really fighting impatience here, as I must must must get on the Peloton imminently or I won’t have time to exercise before my haircut). I could do more were I not short of time.
The last steep didn’t change much from the previous one, which makes me feel less bad about not sitting with this longer.
This is all kinds of interesting and complex. For that, I give it high marks.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Earth, Floral, Mineral, Molasses, Smoke, Stonefruit, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Wood