Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Teavivre
This Palace Pu’er Tea (Gong Ting 宫廷普洱) carefully selected by Teavivre is produced in Mengku, Lincang, which is a representative producing area of Yunnan pu’er tea and one of the famous five tea-producing areas in Yunnan.
The pure flavor, the mellow taste, the exposed gold coins make this kind of high-quality tea deserve to be appreciated carefully.
Learn more about this tea here.
As I’ve said before (more than once), I’ve not always been so fond of Pu-erh. I think my taste buds have not only matured, but, also that I’ve learned more about the best way to brew teas including Pu-erh and this really has made a huge difference in how I’ve come to enjoy it.
But even so, Pu-erh still sometimes scare me, especially when they come off smelling very earthy. And that is just what this tea did. When I opened the pouch, I didn’t notice it quite as much as just after I brewed it. When I poured it from my gaiwan, I really noticed a strong, earthy smell – it smelled of earth, reminiscent of peat, and also slightly of leather and wood.
I took a very apprehensive sip, but was so pleased to discover that this tastes less of earth than the aroma had lead me to believe. Instead, this tastes sweet and remarkably smooth. No bitterness or astringency at all. It has a buttery sweetness – not so much like a buttery note that you might experience with a green tea or an Oolong, but more of the buttery taste in butter toffee or browned butter that’s been poured over the crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread.
It has an earthy flavor too, of course, but, it isn’t as prominent as I expected it to be. It is very mellow tasting, and the flavor seems to improve with each subsequent infusion, so do take the time to explore this tea thoroughly!
A really amazing Pu-erh. And after a visit to Teavivre’s website, I noticed that this particular tea is 10% off through July 15! Time to stock up on this, you’ll be glad you did.
2 thoughts on “Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds Pu-erh (2007) from Teavivre”
I have to say that the “earthy” flavor, and musty smell is what often puts me off Puer too. I had some Puer yesterday, by a different company, and the first thing I thought when I sniffed it, was “oh, mouldy wood.” Even though it tasted quite nice, I didn’t want a second cup.
I keep on thinking, I’m sure I’ll soon get to like this kind of tea. But I”m still waiting. Anyway, just my humble opinion, which can be happily disregarded. Teavivre’s offer at 10% off sounds interesting.
Yes I know exactly what you’re saying about Puerh, it was very difficult for me to get past that strong scent… much less be able to take a sip. My olfactory nerves tend to be extremely sensitive (I inherited my gramma’s olfactory nerves who could smell something foul a mile away!) and it took a lot for me to get past strong smells like Lapsang Souchong and Puerh to be able to even raise the cup to my lips to sip it.
But, all that being said, I think one thing that helped, at least in Puerh’s case, is the fact that I’ve realized the best way to brew it. By steeping in a gaiwan, I can easily perform a “rinse” or reawakening (or two if necessary), which really helps with the aroma of the cupped tea. Also, since the steep time is short, the flavors don’t become so concentrated, which also helps.
Since “rediscovering” my gaiwan, I’ve realized that Puerh can be very enjoyable, but, it is still not my favorite. For the longest time, I disregarded the gaiwan as a “gadget” – and I am really opposed to most “tea time” gadgets because tea time should be as simple as possible in my opinion and gadgets take away from that. I’m of the belief that sometimes the simpler we try to make our lives, the more complicated they become. But, the gaiwan is no longer a gadget, it has become an essential tool for my tea making, and I use it on a daily basis now.