I’m normally a fan of oolong, but find myself compelled to explore – especially Pu-erh. Oolongs can have such varied and complex flavors and from what I’ve tasted so far, so can Pu-erh.
I have several older cakes I’d purchased a couple of years ago. One tastes fishy and the other like mushrooms. I love the one that tastes like mushrooms! Is it dorky if it reminds me of sitting in a dewy forest under a mushroom umbrella! (Shhh …) In looking for more similar to that, I purchased some of this Pu-erh Tuo Cha by Rishi.
The Pu-erh Tuo Cha cakes are dark and fairly hard. If I score with a knife I can break one in half with my fingers. The brew is inky dark with a little red. The taste is smooth, deep and almost smokey with a few notes of mocha. Not bitter, but it gets strong quickly.
If I search with my taste buds I can find just a hint of that mushroom taste. Perhaps this batch has a lot more aging to do. I think this is fairly “fresh” as it was purchased in Rishi’s new boxes instead of their old tins. I rather miss the tins, but understand. The box is 3.21 oz (91g) and contained about 12 cakes.
I didn’t feel a need to rinse first, but I’ll try that next time. Good for multiple infusions. Steep times varied with second and third steeping. I want to explore more Pu-erh!