Thursday, April 29, 2010

Samovar's Blood Orange Puerh Tea

I knew it was going to be a good day at the office when I checked my mailbox the other morning and found a great new tin of tea and a mystery card awaiting. I was puzzled until I read the card and realized my tea-lover friend Gwendol is in town for a few days, and she remembered me saying I liked puerh and wanted to pass along some that she didn't care for.

This tin is one that comes with a protective lid beneath the cap, and as soon as I removed it I was struck by the most wonderful scent. Now I like plain puerh just fine, which was a surprise to me since it's really an earthy flavored tea and not some traditional blend. Puerhs are teas that are aged, and some say they are an acquired taste. I tried and enjoyed several puerhs during my year of tea tasting in 2009, but I did not know that there was such thing as a flavored puerh.

Interestingly, the directions on the tin tell you to immediately rinse your tea leaves with hot boiling water, pour off that water, then add more water and steep (I steeped mine for four minutes). I was afraid I was pouring off all the flavor because the discarded water turned such a dark brown so quickly, but I needn't have feared. The citrusy flavor of this puerh was just wonderful, and I believe I had a total of about five cups of the dark black tea that first day. My friend loathes it (her word), and I love it. If you're thinking of trying a puerh, I have to say I like everything about this one, and you can see their web site here. Any more puerh fans out there? And if so, have you tried this tea? I'd love to know!

6 comments:

Frivolitea said...

Hello! I am glad to read another review of Puerh. I recently received a tin of the plain puerh as a part of my tea of the month club. I could not remember what it is known for but now I know, thanks to reading your post. It is not my favorite, but I do like it OK.

GardenofDaisies said...

I have not heard of Puerh. I should try it sometime. I do like citrus flavored things.

parTea lady said...

Your review almost makes me want to give Puerh another try. This one sounds like the fragrance might not be too earthy (to put it in polite terms). ;-)

I might like Puerh, if I could get past the smell and actually taste it. Although, I don't think I'd want it in a pressed cake form that has been kicking around for 10-50 years. This from a tea connoisseur - NOT!

Marilyn said...

Sounds good, I think. I use to drink Puerh many moons ago; so would have to try it again to see if I still would like it. What a thoughtful friend to pass it on to you.

Gwendol Bowling said...

Angela, such a nice write-up you did on this tea. I have tried many teas from this company and truly lke them all -- except this one. Jess has sent wonderful little notes and his company is first rate. About that top -- traveling, I have found that it serves perfectly for a proper scoop measure when I am caught without one. I have been saving the tins because I just know that somewhere, sometime, I will find a great second use for them. Now the Masala Chai blend, I have a lot of fun with that one, but I ALWAYS add a scoop of a good black tea to it. I have worked out around 40 different variations of working with that one variety alone. He has some great videos on his site, as well. I am SO happy that you like this tea...I have more...I will try once again when I get to Texas, then expect a small care package from me!!! {]; D

Alex Zorach said...

I notice that a lot of people tend to have strong reactions to pu-erh. I feel mixed about un-aged ripe pu-erh, but I like all the raw (green) pu-erh, including both aged and not. I have yet to try any aged ripe pu-erh.

Flavored pu-erhs can be hugely variable, but I find they tend to be vastly different from other flavored teas. I've had some flavored with chrysanthemum flowers, served in a Chinese restaurant. It was odd, but it went very well with the (Cantonese) food. I've also tried Rishi Tea's Vanilla Mint Pu-erh (link is to my review) which was good, but tasted more like hot chocolate than tea to me.

Some Pu-erhs are flavored by aging them inside a piece of fruit...for some of these you might want to look at Chicago Tea Garden's Pu-erh.