Thank you Teavivre for the samples! I initially didn’t want to try the raw pu-erh for sampling, since I’m not sure my palatte understands the flavors in raw pu-erh. I’m also not quite sure the correct way to steep them, especially when Teavivre’s website and the sample pouch seem to be giving different parameters. I always want to be tasting a tea properly! I used the majority of my sample pouch, though I’m supposed to be using 10 grams of tea for a gaiwan 100ml/3.4 oz. I’m using my big mug but only filling it halfway, so it’s still steeping in about 6 ounces of water. The leaves in this cake are very long and wiry! I haven’t had a raw pu-erh in a while, so here goes…
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // rinse // 40 second steep
As I suspected, it’s very tough for me to puzzle these flavors out! Raw pu-erh is always very mild to me, but at the same time, seems very full with flavor, if that makes sense. There is a buzzy characteristic to the mouth feel, though I’m not sure what that means.. like it has the tiny fuzzies of a white tea, but I don’t see many in the mug. The flavor is a little of many things: creamy, lemony, licorice (maybe the mouth feel), maple, autumn leaf, apple, butter.
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 40 seconds
I think I’ll try steeping this tea decreasing the steep time each steep by five minutes.This pale gold brew seems like tiny hints of many flavors. Now it’s pineapple, more apple, apricot, many hints of fruit while not being entirely fruity. Also hints of cedar trees happening. There is still a buzziness happening (I’ve never had this with any other tea before, so it’s a little odd), and it also seems like it could become a touch too bitter, so I’m glad I didn’t steep this one with more leaves, hotter temp or a longer steep time.
Steep #3 // 17 min after boiling // 50 second steep
Steep #4 // 15 min after boiling // 50 second steep
The other two steeps were fairly the same but a little astringent. The first two steeps were much tastier. If I only knew the correct way to steep this tea! Though it’s very good, raw pu-erh isn’t my choice in what I’d be drinking… the astringency likes to take over in later steeps with raw pu-erh. I love the smooth, coffee-like ripened pu-erhs any time! Somehow the ripened pu-erh always stays smooth no matter how long its steeped. I think I like a couple more of the raw pu-erhs from Teavivre slightly better than this anyway.