Thursday, January 14, 2016
As Hot Tea Month marches along, in an effort to whittle down the odd assortment of teas that typically get tossed into a basket and are later forgotten, I have made an unspoken resolution for the new year to consume the one-of-a-kind tea samples received at tea conferences or special events. As I have a tendency to reach for my 'go-to' black tea in the morning, this could prove to be an interesting month of tea tastings!
Today's tea is a Chocolate Puerh. According to the little paper attached to the sweet heart-shaped sample, it is from Cocoa Camellia, a company representing fine teas & chocolate. An Internet search of their website shows it is no longer active. Wonder where the sample came from, and how long I've had it! Puerh tea (pronounced pooh-air) is from the Yunnan Province in China. It is the most oxidized black tea, and is aged to allow the flavors to mellow. Because of the aging process, a technique which is a well kept secret, this can be a highly desired and expensive tea. Once the leaves have aged, Puerh is frequently made into a compacted cake of tea. This small sample had loose Puerh leaves which I brewed for 5 minutes at 212 degrees. It yielded a very dark and hearty tea with strong cocoa notes. This aged Puerh has continued to mellow and produced an enjoyable mug of tea.