Welcome to my first Puerh tea blog post!
What: 2010 Haiwan Mini Tuo Raw Puerh
'What are these little parcels?' I hear you say! This China tea from Yunnan comes in a little brick shape called ‘Tuo’, which means it’s rounded in shape with a hollow hole underneath. Great way of transporting tea or giving as a gift!
Raw (sheng) means it's un-cooked like a green tea, unlike Ripe Puerh, which is cooked before being stored. On the subject of storing, think 'dark cellar' because unlike other teas, Puerh improves with age similar to wine! This one is from 2010, so three years old. Now, I could have kept it even longer but I couldn't wait - I have a blog to write! Puerh tea is said to have several health benefits, all desirable such as weight loss and aiding digestion!
How: Boil about 200ml of water to 95c, infuse the Tuo for about a minute and watch the leaves unfold. I think this is meant to be drunk while it's nice and hot with multiple infusions throughout the day. This Talisman Tea can take up to 6 infusions! I was afraid to boil the kettle too much with the first Tuo but on my second go I took the bull by the horns and heated to the recommended 95c and made sure not to make it too weak. I’m glad I did as this made it far more complex.
Notes: I'd inhaled the smoky, sweet wood aroma that came from my Talisman Tea packet, which reminded me of my old wood burner (which I miss very much!). I was therefore excited to get on and try this tea to see how it tasted. On infusion, it kept the same smoky aroma, as if Grandad had been to visit complete with smoking pipe! This brings me a sense of comfort, does anyone have a Werther’s original actually??
I wasn’t let down by the time I tasted the tea as it kept the same sweet woody flavour with a surprising hint of something floral.
Don’t get me wrong, there is that slight earthy flavour that people talk about with Puerh and I can see how lesser quality examples could be too 'dirty' and put people off. The earthy flavour of this tea doesn’t overpower you but subtlety reminds you that what you're drinking is from a real leaf from the real earth – nothing wrong with that!
I tried the Kava drink ‘Grog’ made from Kava root on a trip to Fiji once and that was what i'd call an earthy drink! This Puerh is the subtle campfire version that tastes much sweeter!
The aftertaste was almost a bit like Darjeeling because it wasn't overly vegetal nor bold or bitter. After all, it’s a drink to be enjoyed straight up, without milk.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading my Puerh experiment and I have another to try in due course, so watch this space!