Regardless of most of your tastes with tea, Pu’erh (poo-air) seems to be a love it or hate it thing. In the case of this artificially aged coin style Pu’erh, I’d say odds are high you’ll enjoy it. That is, if you enjoy a nice black coffee.
|Blend Name||Shou Coin Pu’erh|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Price per Package||$7.5 USD|
|Quantity||~ 1.75 oz|
|*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness|
For hundreds of years Pu’erh teas were primarily made by allowing the tea leaves to take in some oxygen (oxidation) after having been partially fixed (the process by which tea retains its color and flavor after having been picked).
To do this they would pile the leaves up and cover them with bamboo or straw mats and allow them to compost for a few days. Then, they press the leaves into hardened “cakes” and place them in dark storage rooms for years before actually using them.
The shou or “black” Pu’erh was developed in the mid twentieth century and is an artificial aging process. Instead of many years in dark rooms, now they can take just a couple months to a couple years for proper Pu’erh flavor to emerge.
A typical Pu’erh cake is between 6 and 12 inches across and can weigh a good bit. However, this “Coin” style Pu’erh from David’s Tea is tiny. Barely more than an inch in diameter and packed to the gills with tea. You’ll be surprised how many leaves can fit into this little coin!
The coins appear as heavily compressed black leaves with some golden tips thrown in. Once steeped the leaves break apart from the coin naturally and infuse in a normal fashion. However, the leaves will not properly unfurl in the Libre tea mug I am wont to use. While they’ll infuse ok and there’s plenty of flavor, there’s not enough room in the infuser section for steeping this coin Pu’erh. Instead, brew the leaves in the more traditional Chinese style by placing the coin in the primary compartment which has plenty of room. The infuser cap will keep the leaves from going into your mouth while you drink from the mug. The same is true of other mugs I recently reviewed.
The liquor turns out almost opaque. Much like coffee you can barely see through the liquid. At first, to new P’erh drinkers this can be disconcerting. But don’t worry. This is how it should be!
The aroma comes off earthy like mud or dirt or the composting of undergrowth in a forest. Refreshing in its own way, but deffinitely a turn off to those who aren’t expecting it or maybe prefer the fruitier side of things.
Flavor-wise this coin Pu’erh is very smooth. There’s no gritty finish, no extra earthy texture. This is most definitely the smoothest Pu’erh I’ve had to date, and well worth the coin (pun intended). While smooth, the finish is a bit brisk and has an every so slightly astriingent bite at the tip of the tongue. The biggest issue is a drying of the palate.
I would recommend this tea for Pu’erh lovers, coffee drinkers who like it black, anyone who enjoys Lapsong Souchong and fans of Yunnan style Chinese black teas.