I received a sample of this. I do not care for pu-ehr teas and this was no exception.
HI! This is Garret from Mandala Tea. Thanks for trying some of our teas. I noticed that both pu’ers that you have tried are ripe style pu’ers. You may favor green style pu’ers more. They are really two different experiences altogether and it’s worth trying some of the green style before ruling out pu’er tea from your cupboard.
Green style pu’er is made when the sun-dried leaf (mao cha) is steamed and pressed into cakes, creating a fermentation (for lack of a better word) within the cake itself. These teas will age and improve over many years given the right aging conditions.
Ripe pu’er undergoes a further step before being pressed, usually pile fermented (and turned into a black tea of sorts).
Black pu’er tea is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. But rarely is one tea everyone’s favorite. One must make sure to use a full rolling boil when it comes to preparing black pu’er. And make sure to do one or two rinses of the leaf both to prime the leaf and heat the brewing vessel for optimal brewing conditions.
I’d go ahead and give the raw tea a try. You can brew it up anywhere from temps of 195 up to full boil.
Have a tea-riffic day! Garret
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