The other day I popped into David’s teas, looking for two teas in particular. I’d been wanting to have a few more white teas to choose from (The only one I had up until then was Buttercream which I wasn’t a huge fan of). I went in looking for Whisky White and Pom Power, but unfortunately I didn’t love the Whisky White (by scent) and they were all sold out of Pom Power (online as well apparently!) so I had to look at others…. One of the ones I picked up was a Pu’erh tea.
Pu’erh tea is officially a green tea – but it’s a variety that is fermented or semi-fermented aged tea. It’s sometimes called “dark tea” to differentiate it from black tea (which it resembles) and green tea (which is what it technically is). Like wine, the tea is aged, though like wine, aging does not guarantee success. It is available in loose leaf form, or in a pressed ‘brick’. Some are ‘raw’ (darkened through exposure to the elements) and some are ‘rippened’ (fermented).
Pu’erh tea is supposed to reduce blood cholesterol, is believed to help after heavy alcohol consumption, and according to Wikipedia is sold widely as a tea to help with weight loss though there is little evidence to that claim.
Ok, so enough about Pu’erh tea itself, and about the tea I bought!
I really liked the scent of the Crème de menthe tea, which the sales clerk recommended based on my comment about really liking mints and sweet teas. This is a cooked ‘rippened’ tea, with the addition of cinnamon, peppermint, licorice root, and vanilla.
The tea is supposed to be good for many, many infusions, and I’ve done four so far, all with remarkably similar results. First off, the liqueur is incredibly dark – even with a very short steeping time. The flavour is really well-balanced; someone who I shared the first and second infusion with described it as “smooth”. There is a mint flavour, definitely a creamy kind of flavour (rather than a tangy mint), and then something dark, earthy, and almost nutty. I am guessing that it’s the vanilla and licorice along with the tea itself, since the shop clerk said that Pu’erh tea is very ‘earthy’. The bonus – despite being a green tea, I would not have thought it was green at all. There was none of the bitterness. dryness or grassy flavour that I usually associated with green teas. The third and fourth infusions were not noticeably different in flavour or colour. I’m curious to see how many infusions I can get out of the tea!
So, I took a look for other reviews of this tea, and they seem to be pretty mixed. On Steepster, there are posts from people who loved the tea, and those who HATED it. The good reviews seem to mostly be from those who really like mint, while the negative reviews are mostly from people who didn’t like the fragrance once it’s steeped, or didn’t like the intensity of the tea.
Other teas I picked up the other day (which I’m sure I’ll review soon!):
- Organic North African Mint: Green tea with peppermint (I’m hoping this will be a good replacement for my Silk Road Casablanca tea from Victoria)
- Vanilla Oolong
- Quangzhou Milk Oolong (which I mostly got because I read a few good reviews about it on Twitter!)
- Cherry Potion: White tea with cherries
I can’t wait to try them all!