Today is just an awful, awful day. Spock has left us (oh god the tears!!) the dress apocalypse is nigh, my computer is garbage, and I think I have to break my promise to never run ads on my blog. Truly this is a dark day, I am honestly not even sure what to do with myself, the other stuff really was making me blue, but Leonard Nimoy dying is heartbreaking, I love Star Trek, heck I am even debating wearing a Science Officer's outfit as a wedding dress when I get around to getting married. Spock might have been the first 'Space Elf' that I ever fell for, he is just iconic, and his death is tragic, but, at least he did live long and prospered.
So, enough crying into my cat, it is Dark Tea week still, so it is time to venture further into the fermented heart of tea with Wymm Tea's Menghai Shou (Cooked) Pu-erh In Third Grade 2008. This tea comes from the mountains of Menghai and sits right in the middle of tea grading (seventh grade has the biggest leaves and first is the smallest) this means it is right in the middle of sweetness and woodiness. So the aroma certainly can back that up, blending woodiness and earthiness with a touch of sweet. This is definitely one of those teas that is more earthy and robust than sweet, and the presence of loam and wet wood is strong. It reminds me more of a deciduous forest than pine forest, which usually smells sweeter to me.
And into the elephant pot it goes for a brief rinse and steep, the wet leaves are very earthy, blending loam, wet oak wood, a sharp mineral note (specifically it reminds me of limestone) and a finish of pine needles. The liquid is creamy and sweet, the aroma has a heaviness like lying on a forest floor and enjoying the aroma of loam and wood washing over you. It is a very pleasant aroma, earthy and robust but with a balanced sweetness.
The first steep is very smooth, in both moutfeel and taste. I was impressed by the level of smooth, I did one of those mouth-smacking ahhh moments and just had to lean back in my chair and enjoy for a moment. The taste notes blended earthy notes and sweetness to an almost perfection, notes of loam and wet wood with caramel and pine sap, like I said, it was very smooth.
Take two! The aroma did not change much, it has a little more loam and a little more sweetness, so basically it is the same but stronger. Like the first steep this one is crazy smooth, I feel like I should change the music I am listening to (it is Busta Rhymes, not sure he counts as smooth, though that flow is SICK) because wow, this might be one of the most smooth Puerhs I have had. The taste is still really balanced, with the previous earthy notes I get a bit of a mineral note and with the previous sweet notes I get a bit of fig. The aftertaste is almost honey sweet and it lingers for a while.
Guess what, it is time for steep three, the aroma is much sweeter this time, with notes of pine sap, loam, and honey drizzled figs, it smells yummy. The taste is lighter this time, and oddly not really sweet at all, mostly just earthy and loamy with a distinct hint of mineral at the finish. I sat with this tea for a few more steeps, it did not really change much from this one, just continued to fade. It was a delightfully smooth tea, and never got an edge to it which I really liked.