Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Norbu Tea 2009 Lao Mansa Sheng Puerh

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold

Puerh is sort of the last frontier of tea for me. I haven't explored it much and I find it slightly intimidating. This is the first sheng, or raw, puerh that I have tried. The taste was a pleasant surprise as it was very different from shu, also known as cooked puerh. It was mellow with floral notes and a lingering, sweet aftertaste. I could not believe how green and plump the leaves were after steeping. If it were not for the unusual aromatics, I would have thought this was an oolong on first sight. A subtle earthiness developed with each infusion but it was not anywhere near the "forest floor" feeling that many associate with puerh. This tea is almost gone but what they have left is 40% off so I definitely suggest checking it out, especially if you are new puerh.

I really love Norbu's site because they tell you so much about their tea. The cake my sample came from was compressed on 4/13/09. You just don't see that sort of information listed on many retailer's websites. I also appreciate their honesty. They explain on the product page that the last two cases of cakes were an incorrect weight so they adjusted the price accordingly. I'm not sure that every tea seller out there would have been so forthcoming.

You can find this tea here.