Review — Golden Moon’s Pu-Erh

Golden Moon Pu-erhName: Pu-Erh

Brand: Golden Moon

Type: Pu-Erh, shu/cooked

Form: Loose leaf

Review: Pu-Erh is perhaps best described as an “acquired taste”. Processed differently than most teas, it doesn’t taste much like the way we think tea ought to taste. Still, it can be quite delicious, as Golden Moon’s Pu-Erhproves.

While pu-erh is often sold packed in bricks, bowls, and cakes, this pu-erh is sold loose. It is a shu or “cooked” pu-erh, processed to mimic the effects of a long fermentation period. The tea has a light, sweet, spicy nose, and infuses to the characteristic red-orange liquor of cooked pu-erh.

Many cooked pu-erhs boast a strong nose, and taste, of the barnyard, both of which are quite absent in this tea. Instead, it possesses a deep, sweet spiciness, reminding me of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove (think spice cake). Only at the finish does this full-bodied tea develop a decidedly earthy quality.

Recommendation: If you are a serious pu-erh fan, this tea may be too mild for you. Golden Moon clearly selected it for the uninitiated, which is probably a good thing, but it doesn’t pack the punch that many serious pu-erh drinkers like. But pu-erh newbies should like this one, as should anyone who is fond of sweet, spicy teas that have a great deal of staying power.

Preparation Tips: It is possible to get many, many steeps from pu’erh, particularly if prepared in a tiny gong-fu teapot with lots of leaf and not a lot of water. Boiling water is fine for this tea, and it’s pretty forgiving when it comes to steep times.

Food Pairing Tips: I am not fond of serving pu-erh with food, but this tea actually goes well with slightly sweet cakes, cookies, and snacks. I enjoyed a pot of this with a lightly sweetened pumpkin-seed energy bar, and the flavors meshed beautifully.

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