Yep, definitely been struck down by one of Apollo's plague arrows, not sure if this is just the worst cold ever or the flu, but I am stuck in bed with an all cold liquid diet. I guess it is really good that I love ginger ale and sherbet, fruit smoothies, and soup. Now I will take a break between dopey cold medicine hazes to update my blog, but don't be too surprised if I am a bit silent over the weekend.
Today is the last of the Teavivre Spotlight Week (business week of course) and it is Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013 a Shu Pu-erh made from tea plucked from 50-100 year old large leaf arbor trees in 2006. Lovingly ripened until 2013 in Fengqing, Yunnan. The aroma of this tea is leather and very earthy, like wet loam and a touch gamy. There is a sharp finish like pine needles, the leaves certainly have a strong aroma, though not an unpleasant one.
Once the leaves have been rinsed and quickly steeped the aroma is richly piney and mildly earthy, the leather and gamy quality from the dry leaves has been replaced with fresh pine wood and sweet sap and honey. The liquid has a faintly floral quality and strong notes of pine wood which gives it an underlying sweetness.
The first steep is quite delicate, blending aged orchid (if I was an exceptionally skilled cultivator of orchids I could pick out the specific orchid it reminds me of) that has been flowering for at least a day. It fades to loam and finishes with a slightly bready quality.
The aroma of the second steep is a blend of loam and pine wood with the barest touch of cocoa. The taste is rich and loamy with a bitterness reminiscent of autumn leaves and oak galls. It is the bitterness of earthiness and not astringent, unripe fruit. The aftertaste is mildly sweet.
For the third steeping the aroma is mostly loam with just a hint of pine wood, the aroma reminds me specifically of oak leaves, but I might have spent way too much of my life sniffing forest floors, it is part of mushroom hunting. The taste is a bit more mild than the previous steep blending leather and loam with only a hint of the previous steep's bitterness, as before there was a sweet aftertaste.
The fourth and final (at least for me) steep has the aroma of loam and that is all. The taste is all loam and leather with strong earthy undertones. The sweetness of the previous steeps is gone and you are left with a forest floor. This is certainly a Pu-erh I would recommend to someone who wants a bold, earthy Pu-erh. This is probably not my favorite type of Pu-erh, but it well crafted and enjoyable.