Surprisingly, I still have a handful of teas from ChocolaTea in Kalamazoo, which i visited over two and a half years ago. That’s usually the very last cut-off date for me to hold on to something. And yet, some things actually improve with age. One of those things is Pu-erh. xD
I’ve had several vendor’s takes on a “chocolate” Pu-erh, many of which work quite nicely. Cocoa and Pu-erh complement each other well in that Pu-erh is dark and bitter and thick, and chocolate is dark and bitter, but also sweet and gooey. Thus, the idea of combining not chocolate, but rather caramel with Pu-erh sounds equally as delightful.
Aroma is usually the very best thing about Pu-erh, and Caramel Pu-erh is no exception. The caramel note blends quite well with this generic Pu-erh to create a rich Columbian coffee or dirty English toffee. An actual earthy Pu-erh note does underlie the coffee-scent, though it’s hard to call it unappealing. Caramel Pu-erh’s flavor is kind of exactly the kind of thing one would give a coffee-lover who’s not sold on the taste of tea: a delicious peaty, barky Black zing with a hint of caramel sweetness. I won’t, but if you added milk and sugar, I’m thinking it would be difficult to tell Caramel Pu-erh apart from some coffees (though fortunately for me, Pu-erh doesn’t have the same adverse effect on my IBS that coffee does). Texture-wise, Caramel Pu-erh is a slight bit disappointing–i’m fairly sure more grit would come through in the infusion if a real Beencha, say from Xishuangbanna was used.
- Aroma – 96
- Taste – 94
- Texture – 87
- Spunk – 92
- Price – 88
- Availability – 90
- Appearance – 92
Mean score – 91%
I have no idea why, but something possessed me to throw a marshmallow into my mug and microwave it. Err… that didn’t improve the flavor or texture. Sometimes my ideas are just half-baked. ;)