Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Teasenz
SMOOTH, FRUITY with ORANGE AROMA: A beautiful tea for the adventurous tea drinker. Definitely a master piece resulting from aging pu’er leaves in a hollowed out wild orange (clementines). Simply a must-have for any pu’er tea collector.
Learn more about this tea here.
Even though I am rarely “excited” to try a pu-erh tea, I have to admit that I was a little excited to try this Wild Orange Pu’er Tea from Teasenz. Especially after opening the foil packaging and seeing the dried tangerine casing. Maybe it’s silly (my husband would say “nerdy”) of me to think so … but these tiny dried oranges filled with pu-erh are just … so cool and clever!
But how to prepare this tea? I can imagine someone new to tea might find the tangerine casing to be a bit confounding. And to be perfectly honest, I can’t tell you if I did it “right” or not … but I’ll tell you what I did.
Since I brew pu-erh in my gaiwan, I cut away the tight cellophane wrapping from the dried tangerine, and then I took off the little “lid” of the tangerine and cut into the side of the fruit. I cut off a portion of the dried tangerine peel, and then I scooped out some of the dark tea leaves and I put the bit of tangerine peel and the scoop of dark tea leaves into my gaiwan.
Then I brewed it the way I would normally brew pu-erh: with a quick 15 second rinse, and then I started infusing. My first infusion was 45 seconds, and then I added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion. I got eight tasty infusions out of this one bit of Wild Orange Pu’er.
And from someone who tends to be timid when it comes to pu-erh, I like the tangerine flavor that the casing imparts on the earthy tea. The fruit notes balance out the earthy tones without making it taste too “sweet” and without making it taste as though it’s been artificially flavored. The tangerine comes through, providing notes of sweet and hints of tart.
If I had to choose just one word to describe this tea, that word would be mellow. The flavor of the tea is sweet with notes of deep caramel, but overall, it’s a very smooth and mellow taste. There is earthy notes but it doesn’t taste brine-y or fishy. The orange notes are also mellow, but they do a little more than just mellow out the earthy tones here … the tangerine also brightens the overall flavor.
This is definitely an ideal pu-erh for someone who – like me – tends to shy away from pu-erh because of its strong earthy overtures. The fruit notes soften the earthy notes … bringing a taste that is neither too fruity nor too earthy. This is just right. Even in the subsequent infusions, as the fruit notes tend to taper, I found that the tea kept it’s mellowness and did not ever taste too earthy.
A true delight!