Dark Rose/Little Wood Herbals -ashmanra-

Photo Credit: Little Woods Herbal

With rain pelting down since before dawn and the forecast predicting more of the same for the whole day, I decided to try something new. This sample was sent to me by the Sisters a while back and it seems a good day to try it!

I always try to look up a new company and read about the tea I am going to drink if it is new to me. I wasn’t sure if this was puerh, dark tea, or black tea. When I went to the puerh tea heading this wasn’t listed. I checked under black tea and again, not listed. There was a heading for floral teas and there it was, but the description still didn’t tell me for sure what my base was. Let the nose decide!

I took the tiny pressed heart out of the package and sniffed. Based on the sniff test, I would have guessed it was puerh. Tea that is processed more or less like puerh but is not from Yunnan is called dark tea in China, so perhaps that is what I have here, and that is how it was labeled, but I wanted to be sure. (Black is called red tea or hong cha in China which is confusing to some because red tea in the west is what a lot of people called red rooibos.)

I placed the heart in a large infuser basket from my Curve teapot and set it in a large mug. I pouring boiling water over it and watched as the heart softened quickly and lost shape. The water was rapidly turning a deep shade so puerh or dark tea is still my guess.

The rose is nice but not overwhelming if you are not into florals. The tea base is dusty/musty and earthy with a gentle scrape of unsweetened cocoa on the tongue – the sensation of cocoa but not the flavor.

This doesn’t have the oily body of my favorite shu puerh teas but will do for breakfast. There is a hint of dry cedar, especially in the aftertase. The rose is a peppery rose flavor and may add a slight sweetness, but not much. I am finding it slightly medicinal somehow.

Although grateful to try it, this is not one that I would re-order. There are other rose puerh teas that I would prefer.

They have an adorable tea for two set on their site and some nice accessories and other interesting things to browse.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy: Little Woods Herbal

Description

This dark tea is medium to full-bodied and smooth.It has a delicious sweet, dusty rose flavor and aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Review: Pu-erh Hazelberry/Adagio Teas

This tea’s loose leaf smells like a chocolatier’s shop in the late afternoon. The sun is low and the ochre dust motes ease in waves through the air. Ah. It’s old, it’s new, it’s sweet, it’s familiar.

As you steep the tea, it turns amber. When I saw the color, I thought “amber!” and then I thought “WHICH IS WHERE DINOSAUR DNA COMES FROM.” (Being a tea reviewer does not mean I will grow up.)

The resulting flavor is a chocolately, muted-berry, cream affair. The berries, despite being pretty prominently mentioned in the title of the tea, have been repressed — possibly by the patriarchy. It’s usually the patriarchy.

The primary flavors of this are a sort of chocolate/vanilla/hazelnut mix that remind me of protein shakes.

I’m not one to dis protein shakes! They’re an easy breakfast I eat most days!

But I’m not sure it’s what I wanted for my tea. This would be a great starter tea, though, for a person who really likes protein shakes and isn’t sure if they’re going to like tea. The “tea” itself isn’t the point. It’s more of a support for the chocolate/vanilla/hazelnut flavor that sits on top.

That said, there’s definitely a time and place for this tea. It’s inoffensive and unchallenging and sometimes that’s simply what you want. This tea is the sort of thing I’d contentedly drink while needing caffeine (it’s pu’erh!) but in the mood to focus on my work instead of the intricacies of what I’m drinking.

Not everything needs to be difficult or sophisticated. Take it from the girl who referenced Jurassic Park in a tea review.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

The earthy smoothness of Pu Erh creates a warm foundation for the rich flavor of hazelnut while playful, tangy-sweet strawberries peek through the nutty opulence. A hint of cream adds a soft, dreamy note to the blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Shou Pu’erh/Little Red Cup Tea Co

It’s been a while since I have had a decent Pu’erh or even written a review about one. I guess I’m pretty specific in my personal Pu’erh tastes.

Enter Little Red Cup’s Shou Pu’erh.

I have to say I was a little afraid when I infused 1 teaspoon – maybe a little more – loose Pu’erh in my strainer and cup. It was SO dark in color – near black. Normally I would LOVE that for a straight-up black tea – but this was a Pu’erh – and I was pre-judging it before I tried it. Shame on me! I was ‘assuming’ it was going to be SO hardcore and over the top strong that it would be hard to drink. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

The flavor was smooth, silky, somewhat – but not overly – earthy, and down right delicious! It wasn’t wormy like some Pu’erhs. And it had hints of cream or vanilla, too!

As it cools – naturally – at room temperature – sweeter notes came into play.

This was a tasty and surprising pu’erh that I would certainly have again!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Little Red Cup Tea Co

Description

Our Fair Trade Shou Pu’er Tea (熟普洱) is grown and produced by members of the Wa minority in Lincang, Yunnan — about as close to the birthplace of tea as it’s possible to get. This shou pu’er brews smooth and dark, silky and earthy with hints of vanilla. It’s a lovely tea: mellow, moderate, and enormously pleasant.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Planet Kunlu Sheng Puerh/Crimson Lotus Tea

I have a lot more experience with shu puerh than with sheng, but I want to rectify that. What better place to start than with this gorgeous dragon pearl from Crimson Lotus Tea?

This is a really large pearl, but I was not prepared for just how much leaf there is here! Crimson Lotus had a great video telling how to best steep these. Thirty second rinse with boiling water to open it up, pour off the rinse and let it rest for about five minutes. This is great thing to do with any puerh, by the way, not just a tight pearl like this.

Now you can do another thirty second steep and drink it or pour it away, your choice. If the aroma doesn’t appeal to you at this point, don’t worry about pouring it away because believe me, you are going to be here steeping and drinking for a long, long time.

Now that you are on the third steep, shorten your steep to about ten seconds because the leaves are now saturated and the pearl has opened. My gaiwan is full! The leaves are whole, soft, and a beautiful green.

The tea is rich and thick, and has lots of energy going down. The color is surprisingly dark for a youngish sheng, a really deep golden/amber color. The flavor is as rich as the color and stays that way for more than ten steeps, maybe fifteen or twenty. I lost count and have no idea how many steeps I ended up making. For this reason, I am buying a pace counter (ranger beads or range counter) to keep track of future steeping sessions with sheng puerh teas.

This felt like a favorite hoppy beer on the way down, really refreshing and kept me reaching for more. The best part for me was the amazing rising sweetness that persisted.

Honestly I think the tea could have kept going for ages more, and I am thankful that halfway through I was joined by another tea drinker because it just kept giving and I couldn’t hold anymore. The color never lessened, the flavor never got weak. I am really kicking myself for not saving those leaves but it was an outdoor, early spring gong fu session and I couldn’t manage it.

More Crimson Lotus sheng is definitely going on my shopping list.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy:  Crimson Lotus Tea

Description

“A world of flavor in the palm of your hand!” This is a new planet in our Yunniverse.

Don’t let their small size fool you. These tiny spheres of puerh are made from Kunlu Shan small arbor tree tree material. They were picked and processed in Spring of 2017 and were pressed in the Summer of 2017.

Each of these hand made ‘planets’ weighs around 8 grams. These are called ‘long zhu’ (龙珠) in Chinese; this means ‘dragon balls’. They are hand wrapped and ready to brew. These work great with any style of brewing. You can toss one in a gaiwan or clay teapot. They work great grandpa style, or in an on the go thermos. They are tightly compressed so we give them a nice long initial wash to help them open up. The first steep is longer than normal until the leaves open up.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

photo credit:  crimson lotus tea

“An Afternoon Of Meetings Calls for Pu-erh” Forest Song/Global Tea Hut

An afternoon of meetings calls for a sweet, ripe pu’erh, or at least, that’s how I feel about it.

I grabbed this tea for the first time, and it delivered. I got something rich. Something heavy. Something that could help me beat up the opposition.

This isn’t a fishy or old-tasting or spicy pu’erh. It’s a beautiful older woman. It’s basically a bunch of flowers, wisened with age, kind of tough. Like Olenna Tyrell.

This tea is called “forest song” because — as I discovered on Global Tea Hut’s blog — trees respond to sound. It turns out that plants grow best when they’re exposed to the same sort of pitches as birdsong. Birds are the sign of a healthy forest. So when trees hear those pitches, they grow better.

As nature gets trashed by global warming, deforestation, extinction, etc, the songs of the forest are going to change. And tea production is going to change.

That’s right, guys: our planet’s tea is at risk.

Call Captain Planet.

We’ve gotta fix this.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Global Tea Hut

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!