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Ahhh, World Market’s Ancient Pu-erh Tea. I met this tea quite a few months back. This, friends, was the first Pu-erh tea I ever tried, and it was also my first ever loose leaf tea. I remember that first cup – I spent the whole time drinking it with an odd expression on my face, puzzling, grasping for the right words and the right description. It was so different; I couldn’t place what the tea reminded me of. And then when I did realize what it smelled like, I was shocked: was I drinking something that – gasp – smelled like hay?
As far as taste goes, it’s actually a very smooth and rich tea. I detect a slight smokiness, and like others have mentioned, a little bit of a leathery, even nutty, taste. Personally, I almost NEVER add anything to my teas, but I have heard that this tea tastes good with milk or honey. Also, this Pu-erh tea is supposed to aid in digestion, so it’s suggested as an after-meals tea.
The bag (which cost me about $8) yields 50-55 cups, and you can get several cups out of each infusion (just add a few minutes steeping time for each additional cup). Boiling water is recommended (brings out the fullest flavor), and recommended infusing time is 4-5 minutes (although I have done if for closer to 3 minutes, and that was fine too).
Folks, this isn’t your ordinary tea. I like to think that if it were a person, it would be one of those television survival men, like Bear Grylls or Les Stroud. This tea embodies “nature”, and it’s nothing if not “outdoorsy”. I could throw out more adjectives, like “earthy” and “woodsy”, but I think you get my point.
This isn’t a city-boy tea.