Leaf Type: Pu-erh
This tea is available from Amoda Tea.
f you’re new to pu-erh, this is a great introductory tea. If you’re not new, you’ll still enjoy its vanilla chocolate goodness. This is slightly earthy and woody, as you might expect from an aged tea. The taste is smooth, rich (there’s mini chocolate chips in this afterall) with a lingering sweetness. Go ahead and try this hot with milk or even as an iced latte.
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As I’ve said on several occasions, I’m usually hesitant when it comes to sampling pu-erh. I actually have enjoyed most of the pu-erh that I’ve tasted over the years but if I had to choose between pu-erh and most other tea types, I’d probably go with something else. I’m not a big fan of the earthiness that seems to go along with most pu-erh and especially with shou pu-erh. And as the name of the tea indicates, shou pu-erh is the base tea used for this Choco Shou Pu-erh Tea from Camellia Sinensis which is the last of the four teas that I’m sampling from this month’s Amoda Box.
And while I don’t usually like that earthy flavor of pu-erh, it works with this particular blend. The earthiness actually enhances the flavor of the chocolate and gives it a deeper, richer flavor. So while I may not be all excited about a shou pu-erh, I do get excited about a tea that complements the flavor of chocolate.
So, yes, this is earthy. But not so much that it knocks me upside the head with a flavor that makes me think that I steeped soil instead of tea. This tastes much better than I would assume the steeped soil would taste – I’m going to go with that assumption because I’m not going to steep soil and drink it. Just not gonna do it.
The chocolate flavor here tastes dark and decadent, like an expensive chocolate bar that says 70% cacao on it. If you prefer your expensive chocolate bar to say “milk chocolate” on it, add a splash of milk to make a latte because this tea tastes amazing as a latte!
To steep: I used my Kati Tumbler rather than my gaiwan to steep this tea because of the little chocolate chips in the blend. I felt like the Kati was the better way to go. I did rinse the tea for 15 seconds before infusing though – you’ll want to do this with any shou to help wash away some of those stronger earthy notes. After the rinse, I infused the first cup for 2 1/2 minutes in 190°F. I added 30 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.
I resteeped twice – creating three very flavorful cups of tea – with the first two much more chocolate-y than the third. The third was still quite nice, just not as much chocolate flavor.
So smooth! No bitterness (not even from the chocolate!) and no astringency. Just a deep, mellow, luxuriously chocolate flavor that I would happily drink on a regular basis. As I said before: the chocolate flavor lasts through a couple of steeps – I got two very chocolate-y steeps out of the tea before the chocolate notes began to wane.
This tea gets a thumbs up from me. Quite good!