In my last post I shared with you some information about Vanilla Mint Pu-erh – my “V” tea.
The dry leaves…
The scent of the leaves was absolutely amazing; heavy with sweet mint and followed by earthy undertones. A singular whiff of the dried leaves sent a pungent, cooling and intoxicating scent of minty freshness up my nasal passage. The aroma reminded me of that classic movie theater candy – Junior Mints, but on steroids. The leaves were a colorful mix of black, green, brown and yellow – beautiful bright green pieces of peppermint leaves mixed with the tea, and brownish pieces of cinnamon.
I used 2 teaspoons of the tea, with 8 ounces of water that was at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit. I let that sit for just a few seconds and then I poured out that first “tea water.” Rinsing and warming the leaves and the teapot always allows for a better brew. I then added more water and let the tea steep for four minutes.
In my cup…
It brewed to a very earthy, deep, dark brown, liquor, reminiscent of coffee – which is expected with a musky, earthy pu-erh base. The aroma was decidedly earthy. The cooling sensation from the mint was almost immediate, and it lasted well beyond the finish. There was an inherent earthiness from the pu-erh as well. As far as the vanilla was concerned, for me it was delightedly understated since I do not like vanilla at all in teas. The second infusion lost a little of the usual pu-erh-potency – but to tell you truth I enjoyed the second infusion more, since I am not a pu-erh fan.
So, in the end, I have to say, the first thing that I tasted was definitely the pu-erh. For my palate, it’s hard to ignore or mistake that earthy and sometimes smoky taste – a friend of mine once called it an “old tobacco flavor” and I have to agree with that comment. Also, for me maybe it’s just my imagination or my weird taste buds or palate, but with any pu-erh I have ever tasted, there always seems to be a back note of fish or at least some vegetal seaweedy note. The mint did help to alleviate or disguise the usual overpowering notes of the pu-erh, but it ultimately was the pu-erh that was at the forefront. Also, additionally I admit that I am always kind of skeptical at first of any mint in teas. Most teas are simply dominated by the overwhelming minty flavor when mint is anywhere on their ingredient list, but this tea made quite the impression on me because it was minty at the finish, but I didn’t feel like I was shooting peppermint extract.
All that being said – Vanilla Mint Pu-erh rated a 1!
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase