Pu-erh Bird Nest (China)
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(Pronounced Poo-Air) Dark tea is a good choice for coffee lovers because it has such a rich body. It's not "watery" or "thin"
What is dark tea? Take a specific black tea, fement it, let it age in a cave (different vintage years are sold, typically the older they are, the more expensive and desirable). Then some dark tea is sold loose, but a lot of times the tea is pressed into a shape. Pu-erh comes from one particular region in China and is a special category of Dark Tea known for its deep earthiness. Dark Tea is full of bacteria probiotics just like yogurt.
"Green pu-erh" is BLACK tea that has aged naturally. "Roasted pu-erh" is BLACK tea that has been moistened and roasted to immediately mimic the aging process. Both taste good, but the Aged is more complex and more desirable. The Aged is prized in China for earthy taste and medicinal properties, whereas the Unaged is typically only for export. Happy Mug's pu-erh is the more authentic "aged" pu-erh.
This particular pu-erh is is called Tuo Cha which means "bird's nest" because that is the shape of the pressed tea. You need one piece per 8oz mug of tea. It has been aged between 12 and 18 months.
In Eastern culture they only brew it for a minute and will rebrew the same tea leaves 6 times or more. They scorn at Westerners who brew it 3-5 minutes, but hey, we are who we are. If you brew it 3-5 minutes, it is a full bodied black tea, with intense, slightly musty flavor. It knocks my socks off -- I've never had a tea this powerful, this tasty. This is a mug of tea that you are still thinking about the next day and wanting more of.
I like to steep it for 2 minutes and it tastes and smells like spring. Earthy, sunshine, new growth. I steep it 2 more minutes, and it tastes like summer. Hay, pastures, campfires. I steep it 2 more minutes and it tastes like fall (this is my favorite one): Autumn leaves, forest, cool nights. Steep it yet again and you have the taste of winter: soft, quiet, fireplace. You can keep resteeping all day. Dark tea is crazy.
If you've never had dark tea, you are missing out.
Tasting Notes: Strong, Earthy, almost Musty smelling, Black Tea flavor. Rich, full bodied, and complex flavors of grass, forest, and earth.
Steep: 1 piece of tea for 8oz water. Water temperature: 205. Steep time 1 to 5 minutes. Sweetener: Unneeded
Approximately 6 pieces in a 1 ounce package.