September 13, 2016

Misty Peak Teas - 1 Year Puerh

Puerh comes in many forms. There are compressed forms and loose puerh. I've never purchased an entire bing or brick or square but I have had samples from them as well as (mini) toucha. Have you had puerh packed in a bamboo tube or in a tangerine peel? This post is about a young uncompressed raw puerh. It is a Misty Peak 1 year puerh that I purchased at a a stationery shop in Georgetown. Did you catch my post about my visit to Just Paper and Tea?

As I began selecting photos to illustrate the post, I remembered how much I liked the light in this one room of our house in Arlington, VA.

My steeping parameters were 5 grams with 185F water starting with a 10 second infusion and increasing by 10 seconds to the final infusion of 1 minute. The rinsed leaves released a perfume of apricot jam. After the leaves were infused for the first time, they acquired an earthy note. The first liquor tasted earthy with some sweetness and a bit of dryness on the edges of my tongue. There was a fresh hay note, too, alongside green bean, and the liquor thickened in mouthfeel as it cooled.

The 20 second steep was the most complex of the infusions. The leaves were various shades of green and brown untwisting into long and narrow shapes and smelling of blackcurrant liqueur and apricot jam. The liquor tasted of said jam and was thick, nutty (cashew or chestnut), and a bit dry like the inner part of the stone of a stone fruit.

The 30 and 40 second steeps were dry and nutty with a lingering sweetness. Much of the flavor from the 5 grams of leaves had been extracted at this point. A 50 second steep did not yield anything new or robust. I increased the temperature to 195F for the 60 second steep but what I experienced was mostly dryness with ghostly notes of stone fruit. I don't have the postcard any longer but I based my steeping parameters on the instructions printed in a card that accompanied the tea. I think I could have extracted more flavors and extended my session if I had used shorter steep times and a higher water temperature. How do you infuse young loose leaf sheng?

P.S. Misty Peak Teas is friends with the owner of Just Paper and Tea. I was given a 5% discount for mentioning that I follow Misty Peak Teas on social media.

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