Warning: the following review is of an extremely delicious tea!
As I am sure I have mentioned before, I quite enjoy pu'erh tea. Ginger also happens to be a favorite of mine, and when I received this tea from Tao Tea Leaf, I was ecstatic to try a combination of these two wonderful flavors. The dry leaves exude an earthy pu'erh aroma, though not very rich. Then the spice of the ginger hits the nostrils with a sharp but pleasant bite, as though breathing the aroma of a pepper. Softer sniffs at the mixture of dried ginger and pu'erh leaves reveal a spicy sweetness to the blend, coming from the ginger, which goes well with the woodsy smell of the pu'erh.
Using a gaiwan, I first rinsed my leaves with just-boiled water, then steeped them for thirty seconds. The first infusion produced a milk chocolate-brown cup that was clear and moderately bright (the slight dullness probably came from the infused ginger). Its aroma is far more subdued than that of the dried leaf, and it literally smells like ginger-scented pu'erh. I did not find that the pu'erh was very forward, nor the ginger, and they both balanced each other well. But the balance tastes fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first steep. The ginger lends only the slightest amount of heat to the tea, and that is not unpleasant.
On the second steep of thirty seconds, the tea steeped a darker brown, but equally clear and moderately bright. This time, both ginger and pu'erh flavors were more pronounced and expressive, leading to a richer-tasting cup. Even with the more forward ginger flavor (compared to the first steeping), the heat was still not unpleasant. In fact, it seemed that the heat had diminished slightly, while the ginger flavor was stronger.
Over the next several steeps (longer at forty-five seconds), the tea maintained its balanced expressiveness. The third steep was a bit sweeter with the ginger. The fourth steep brought even flavors of ginger and pu'erh. Finally, I poured water over the leaves to let them sit for a long steep. I really enjoyed tasting this tea. The combination and balance of ginger and pu'erh were spot-on, and I applaud Tao Tea Leaf for doing so well in blending. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea a 97/100.
Photo credit to Built from Ink and Tea.
Tao Tea Leaf's Organic Ginger Pu-er is available from their website, here.
This tea was provided by Tao Tea Leaf for review. The review was otherwise unsolicited and uncompensated.
Text is copyright 2014, Built from Ink and Tea.