Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: The Tao of Tea
Native Name: Shu Bing
Origin: Central Yunnan Province, China
Plucking Season: Fall
Introduction: A cooked style pu-er, made at one of the few certified organic tea gradens in central Yunnan. Can endure many steepings, and does not become astringent. We don’t expect it to gain any flavor change over time.
As I’ve mentioned before (several times), Pu-erh is a little intimidating to me. My first few experiences with Pu-erh were not pleasant ones, and since that time, I’ve been very hesitant to try it again. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I decided to try to expand my horizons and try to develop a taste for Pu-erh. It is, after all, an acquired taste (for some of us at least! I do understand that there are some people that love this stuff right off the bat! For the rest of us though, it takes a little time!)
The dry leaf does not possess much of an aroma, and this was encouraging me, because it is often that strong earthy essence that I find off-putting when it comes to Pu-erh. However, after steeping, I noticed the liquor developed an earthy scent. Fortunately, though, it was not nearly as strong as some Pu-erh teas that I’ve tried, so I remained optimistic. Given the fact that I’ve been very pleased with other teas I’ve tried from The Tao of Tea, I had good reason to remain optimistic!
This is remarkably smooth. It is a bold, full-flavored cup with a pleasant tone of sweetness. In the past, I have often compared the sweetness of cooked Pu-erh to caramel, and while this does possess some of those “caramel” tones to it, I would say that this is not quite as caramel-y as some of the teas I’ve tasted. It is more like molasses, but without that molasses-y bitterness.
The flavor is earthy, but a subdued earthiness with a woody undertone to it. This is a very pleasant Pu-erh. Not one I would consider a favorite but, one that I am happy I had the opportunity to try and one that I wouldn’t turn down if I were offered it again. The Tao of Tea does it again!