Thank you mrmopar for this Puerh sample
When I open a box of samples and inside there is all Puerh’s…it’s Christmas in July in Colorado! Wha a treat!
This has never happened before! I am so thankful to mrmopar who must have read enough of my reviews to know that I would be appreciative (which of course I am!).
I’ve been talking to myself about Pu-erh’s lately.
“Self, I said, What do I need to know about Pu-erh and what is just going to make me crazy.”
Here’s what’s important and what’s not for me as a Puerh lover.
1. I am not a collector or a tea professional.
2. Tea companies receive lots of tea samples and only release a small amount for sale. They should have sorted out what’s best for the consumer. (Companies with a direct relationship with their source are my favorites)
3. I buy tea, I drink tea, I write and look for the good in tea.
My job is to find companies that I can trust to bring me the best quality tea experience for the money that I have to spend.
Long lecture I know…but for a reason this time.
I will be reviewing 9 puerh’s from mrmopar over the next week and I have no idea what the year of release and numbers mean. I will drink and write about the tea. It’s all I know how to do.
I was instructed to Rinse this Ripe Shu 20 seconds and Steep 30 seconds.
(Measured 1.5g dark brown bark in a 4oz gaiwan)
This was one of the most interesting wet Puerh’s I’ve SNIFFED. (Now that’s the non-snobby way to put it)
1. I do not lie when I say that on the first rinse the wet bark smelled like mulch and chocolate chip cookies. Oh yes!
2. Second steep the scent went to espresso, sage and mild leather.
4. Puerh bakery bread, comfy light and warm.
1. Steeped 30 seconds as instructed:
Lovely light amber liquor with a light Puerh earthy sweet scent.
The taste was dry and tarte but not sour. I noticed a cooling late in the sip like camphor. As the cup cooled the classic earthy Puerh richness, sweet and cloaklike bubbled up in a juicy finish. All was light and teasing.
2. Steeped at 30 seconds and the liquor became a quite dark amber.
As soon as the Puerh touched my tongue I could feel the tingle of spice and the furry thickness that I sometimes feel with Puerhs. Something like the bark of a Redwood tree which is pourous and fuzzy. There was a flavor that filled my mouth all tangy like quince paste (membrillo) and lingered on with a tingling sensation and peppery heat.
I put my head back for a moment and thought about the Mission District in San Francisco where I would go to buy long rectangular blocks of Membrillo in regular quince or orange flavor (orange was my favorite). I would serve this almost jell like fruit paste (sounds wierder than it is) cut into 3in x 1/2in rod shapes and stack them with mild white cheese (also cut into rods) in a cross hatch pattern and serve them as dessert at the end of a meal with espresso and chocolates (I was a coffee drinker back then). (Very Latin American treat for the end of a meal). I digress again… (Oh, my kids used to love seeing the pig tails, snouts and heads in the butcher shops in the Mission. Sheeps heads too. Cool kid gross stuff. And the stuff in Chinatown…hanging ducks and black eggs…more cool stuff for kids!)
3. I went off instructions to Steep 1 minute!
This was a pretty dark honey amber coffee brown liquor.
The shot of liquid in my mouth was pure energy first and then a taste just shy of bitter, like the bitterness in coffee beans. An awakening for the taste buds.
The next flavor was cedar, then dryness and after that something astonishing happened.
What should not happen, did happen.
The Puerh became silky smooth and like a wave that hit a wall..reversed coming back forward… spreading the silkiness to the front of my mouth all the way to my lips. I swear it did this! I don’t know what to say?
4. Steeped on a going for broke 3 minute ride!
Nice dark amber colored liquor, earthy scent, sweet and mild.
This should be a Dead Mans Brew. I was thinking that going for broke would be daring and bold.
When I took a big drink, the energy was in the liquor but the tea was surprisingly smooth, sweet and juicy.
This was an elegant sophisticated Puerh that completely caught me off guard. It bore little resemblance to what I was drinking earlier.
The journey through the previous steepings to this one had been like being on a train and stopping at various platforms until arriving at the final destination. A new Country opened up with a vision of it’s own.
Everything about this place took me to my memories of walks at Point Lobos in the Springtime along the Monterey Coast just South of Carmel. Sea Otters playing in the small bay, Cypress Trees all twisty trunked with horizontal branches pointing every which way. The smell of the meadow with new flowers and wild sage. Sea salt, Ponderosa Pine, Redwood and Sand.
Why would a Puerh take me to this place that should be better suited for a Sheng or Dragonwell? Good question!
The sense of a certain place in the memories of a scent, sound or colors….a particular feeling of peace… not just the taste of a particular tea can evoke the connection which is what happened here with me. http://youtu.be/mLtPHZOLKBc
This is a young Puerh from what I gather and is supposed to get better with aging. Oh My!
I think it’s pretty outstanding right now! I understand how aging works and I never could let a good bottle of wine last for more than a year.
Thank you for this lovely Puerh mrmopar!