Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas tea ceremony - drinking raw pu'er

During the shortest day of the year, we also witnessed the first serious snowfall where the entire landscape went from dull to wintery white. The cold has motivated me to prepare something heavy and good enough to keep my hands warm.

Something like a hybrid between a green tea and a cooked pu'er cake, the raw pu'er tea seems like the perfect choice to balance my preference for vibrancy and freshness with more heavy-bodied teas that exude complex, perfume-scented notes. The brew is golden in colour and beautifully transparent. The infusion smells aromatic with grassy and floral notes.

The most important lesson learnt in assessing pu'er tea for its quality is based on the level of astringency. In the case of inferior teas, there is no way that it will ever taste less bitter and astringent. This is also why in the steps leading up to a proper brew, the quality of tea leaves ranks first, followed by the teapot you use and the choice of cups.

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