Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Teasenz
Made from 2012 “gift-tea grade” leaves selected by the Teasenz team and pressed into a tea bar. Easy to break and steep right away, or store and let it ripen for years. A perfect gift to surprise your favorite tea drinker.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was quite pleased by the aroma of the dry bar, because usually when I take a sniff of the dry leaf of a pu-erh, it smells very earthy, to the point where it smells … well, it smells like earth. Like potting soil with um … well, with maybe a little bit of fertilizer mixed in. Yeah, I’m not all that into that smell. But, while there are some earthy notes to this dry leaf (which has been pressed into a bar shape with little squares, similar to what you might find if you were to unwrap a bar of chocolate), this doesn’t overpower my nostrils with the smell of a greenhouse during planting season.
And the brewed tea doesn’t have a heavy earthy aroma either. Nor does it have a heavy “briny” or fishy smell. BONUS points for that. The aroma here is very soft, almost indistinguishable, which some might find a bit weird, but it’s much more agreeable to this tea drinker than the aforementioned potting soil.
The flavor is so nice! It has a deep, rich, mellow flavor that is a pleasure to drink. There are notes of cacao which is especially nice given the comparison I made to the chocolate bar a bit ago. Absolutely no bitterness. No astringency. Just a smooth, well-rounded, mellow flavor. While there are faint notes of earth here, this isn’t what I’d categorize as an earthy tea.
The flavor is very interesting because it’s quite unlike any pu-erh that I’ve tried to this point. The notes of cacao are there, it’s a very mild dark chocolate note. It’s almost like raw cacao, except that I taste a very subtle roast. Like perhaps they started to roast the cacao but then changed their minds shortly after the roasting process had begun.
The cacao notes are softer than the overtone of molasses that I taste. This tastes to me very much like molasses, with hints of mushroom. Imagine a mushroom that has been slow-roasted to dry it out a little bit (so that it has a slight dry, leathery sort of taste to it) and then topped with raw cacao, and then topped with a heavy drizzle of molasses.
Yeah, it sort of tastes like that, only better, because that description sounds kind of weird and this just tastes unique and lovely. I mean, if a chef put a plate in front of me with a slow-roasted, leathery mushroom that had been dusted with raw cacao and drizzled with molasses, I would think that the chef had lost his mind. It is sweet, rich, a little leathery with a very slight earthy tone. Overall … a really splendid tea experience!
This tea keeps going and going too. I managed eight infusions, and I think I could have gotten even more, but I was ready to move on. The flavors got deeper and deeper with each infusion, until about six. The flavors pretty much began to stabilize at that point, and then wane. My eighth infusion is where I started to notice a loss in flavor, but it was still quite flavorful.