In the past I’ve often written about my love for Pu-erh, especially as realized at Royal Oak’s Goldfish tea house. To celebrate my impending move home to the country (yeah, it was supposed to have happened by now… ^^;;) as well as the return to a crisp December in Michigan, I thought I’d celebrate with my favorite tea. Hopefully we’ll have some actual winter to drink tea to eventually.
Today I’m drinking Numi‘s (not quite novelty) Aged Pu-erh Tea Brick – compressed organic loose tea. Basically, they’ve taken the traditional bird’s nest tuocha and shaped it into a candy bar (of joy and rapture). Why not? Tuocha had been done to death and this is so much easier to package. ;)
The Pu-erh Brick is a dark, malty and gritty liquified bark beverage. Unfortunately, mine is from last year and it doesn’t have quite the same body that it used to. Most teas will last a good six months before they start to lose integrity, but tuocha is of a more compressed, robust variety (one $13 brick steeps an astounding ~50 pots!)–it really comes back to life in the brewing. Tuocha needs to be heavily agitated with a wooden tea scoop or tongs once or twice a minute while it’s in the tetsubin/tea pot. The result is a gorgeously dark brown-black tea that rivals most coffees in color. Pu-erh Brick has a slightly woody/nutty aroma (for some reason I’m reminded of forests that run along the freeway). The taste is a bold caffeinated syrupy but unsweetened warming drink, also not unlike good coffee (and yet, no Latin American workers were exploited in the making of this environmentally sustainable experience). In truth, Pu-erh’s real selling point is in its texture: a unique intoxicating dirt and grit malt that drinks almost like muddy saw dust. Likely if you’ve never tasted pu-erh, you may think that sounds quite disgusting; Pu-erh is definitely an acquired taste that’s not for the uninitiated. However it is, in all seriousness, the most terrific tea that exists. Recommended Top Notch.