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This part of the review takes the pu-erh experience further. Doing several 2-minute infusions (Part I) was interesting, but my humans and I thought that this tea could go beyond those interesting results, especially since the tea vendor suggests a steeping time ranging from 2 to 10 minutes.
The Subject: Young Pu-erh Tea from The English Tea Store.
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: N/A
Aroma, dry tea leaves: Loamy, sweet
Aroma in the cup, plain: Loamy, sweet
Taste, plain: Complex (see comments)
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A
Additional Infusion(s): See comments
We decided to do two different batches:
Batch A – 2 infusions steeped for 5 minutes each
Batch B – 2 infusions steeped for 10 minutes each
Overall, this phase of our taste experience with this Pu-erh was far better than the first round of short infusions in Part I. It seems that this tea needs time for all of its flavors to infuse out into the hot water.
The first infusion had a loamy, rich aroma and a mild, smooth, caramelly taste that took on a nut-like character as it cooled. The second infusion had a rich aroma and a lighter flavor that was a tinge edgy but was overall good.
The first infusion was richly fragrant with a full-bodied flavor that was mild, smooth, loamy/nutty, with a slight tang. The second infusion while richly aromatic, was rather flat tasting, having lost most of its unique flavor characteristics.
We tried a cupful of that 10-minute first infusion with some milk and sweetener just to see what it would be like and were very pleasantly surprised. The character had undergone quite a change, becoming even smoother and full-bodied, yet the musty notes still came through. We noted that as we added tea to the cup (which already had milk in it), the color first turned a soft rosy pink, then a deeper rose, then mauve, and finally an almost cocoa-reddish-brown. Very appropriate, since one sip revealed the cocoa notes. Then, we each took in a large mouthful. Ah! Definitely cocoa notes, yet that musty taste was still there. Delightful!
We recommend the 10-minute infusion (one only) for the most complete taste experience, especially if you want to try it with milk and sweetener as we did.
More importantly, this tea is full of possibilities. You can steep it shorter times for that milder, mustier flavor, or go for the long haul and a richer, fuller flavor. The choice is yours!
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.