by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author to this e-zine)
Clara in The Nutcracker never had such good dreams as my humans will have after enjoying this Yongde 2010 Golden Buds Ripe Loose Leaf Pu-erh. It’s all loose in its pouch and easy to spoon out just the right amount to steep instead of trying to chip off a piece from those hard-as-rocks disc-shaped cakes (aka “bings” or bricks or tuos) to fit inside the teapot. The convenience of loose leaf tea and the goodness of pu-erh combined. Great for your busy schedule and those holiday parties. Sure put this little teapot and my humans in a celebratory mood. Here is the fifth of five of these loose leaf teas we tried recently, and that party atmosphere is ratcheting up! The dry tea has a rich earthy aroma. Very pleasant. The flavor was similar to a light roast high grade coffee that has been brewed about one minute. At least that’s what my humans said. I don’t have a lot of experience brewing coffee – in fact, I don’t have any. Wouldn’t want to taint tea flavor by brewing coffee inside me. You can steep the same leaves 5, 6, or even more times, making this tea’s cost per cup very low. And no need for fancy or unusual teawares such as gaiwans (little lidded bowls used in many Asian countries) which are nevertheless very cute and great members of my Tea Gang. You can steep this tea in a pretty popular style of teapot like me. TOOOOT! Some things to note about ripe pu-erhs:
- They go through a process after the basic leaf processing that ages them faster than normal.
- These teas are known for their lack of bitterness, even if you oversteep them (which, of course, I never do).
- The aroma and flavor can be an acquired taste, often described as earthy, like rotting leaves, or like raw mushrooms.
- When properly made, they can be aged further and get even mellower and richer in flavor.
Disclaimer: all items were furnished by the vendor but all opinions expressed here are totally unbiased.
© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text