Since Pu-er is a black tea, and one that I didn’t care for until very recently, I wanted to see how it fared against other black teas that I like and regularly drink. Hence my own tea tasting soiree, involving the new Purple Tip Pu-er, Kusmi Tea, a Congou, and an Earl Grey Black Tea.
Let the tastings begin. Right away I noticed that there was, indeed, a difference, which put to rest the notion that all black teas are similar. Or maybe my taste buds are becoming more sophisticated. You think?
The Earl Grey Black Tea, from Choice Organic Teas was, to me, the most astringent, the driest. It is a tea with a lot of flavor, boldness and smells wonderfully of bergamot oil, which I like. Preferring stronger teas in the morning, and something to wake up my taste buds, the Earl Grey does that pleasantly, without being English Breakfast Tea, which is generally too dry and slightly bitter for my taste. Interesting, because I prefer rocket fuel for coffee, but not the equivalent of French Roast for tea.
Next came the Congou, from the Perennial Tea Room. It’s taste was a little softer, but still fairly bold. It’s another morning tea for me. From there, I moved on to the Kusmi Tea, from the Tea Lady, in Olympia. This is what I normally drink in the morning when I don’t want to make a decision that early. It’s smooth, with a lot of flavor, no bitterness, and that bergamot smell that I like, along with some citrus.
Finally I tried the Purple Tip Pu-er again. Last week, I didn’t like Pu-er………”tastes like dirt”. But this week, I have grown accustomed to it, and found it to be the smoothest and most subtle of the black teas that I tried. This is a nice afternoon tea.
You can find all four teas in the Puget Sound area, at enjoyable tea shops. Perhaps you will try your own tea tasting soiree. Contrast/comparison is a great teacher for a pleasant afternoon.
Zen Dog Tea House; Purple Tip Pu-er: http://www.teahousegallery.com
Tea Lady, Olympia, Wa; Kusmi Tea: http://www.tea-lady.com
Perennial Tea Room, Congou; http://perennialtearoom.com
Choice Organic Teas, Earl Grey Black Tea; http://www.choiceorganicteas.com