Review: KTeas Pu’erh Leaf tea

KTeas, Organic Tea, Pu'er Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"The taste isn’t as earthy as the aroma alludes as it has a mineral edginess, although it still draws me outside with flint, black walnut hulls or cocoa shells one puts in one’s garden. While it doesn't try to be something it's not, the eager mineral earthiness might not persuade all for a second date."
Raven’s Teaview: 4/10
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kteaslogoShou or cooked pu'erh is kinda like the friend with a nice personality. Next to it’s sheng counterpart, who is talked about more, seems a bit more flashy and more in the spotlight, shou pu'erh can often seem a bit of a wallflower. Yet, like the friend, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own alluring charm radiating from that nice personality. Its dark intrigue and smooth comfort is certainly worth a call and a second date. Kteas offers a wonderful variety of teas with many that are kind to the pocketbook so after enjoying several of their flavoured teas, I anticipated trying some of their plain teas as it is always nice to know places to get tea that aren't just good for only one type. But of course, no tea is a Plain Jane in my book and the often overlooked cooked pu'erh seemed a fanciful place to start. So I was ready to make its acquaintance.

Although there’s no corsage with the tea, there’s a formal elegance to the leaves of the tea. As two to six millimeters long cut pieces, they are coloured like coffee with a look of tobacco. I almost feel more masculine just holding them. From behind the debonair air to the leaf, emerges a more humble persona by the earthy mineral aroma. Speaking of wet sand or mineral rich fields strewn with nut hulls and damp mushrooms, the scent is calming if not the most appetizing.
With the introductions over, the true discovery began with two heaping teaspoons (three grams) of leaves and boiling water as directed by the Ktea’s website. As the brew musters its courage and draws up on its soul, the infusion dons a candid saturated dark brown. The hue of the cup is heroic, seeming almost thick and hearty, yet the brew is clumsied with a bit of haze.
Dressed to impress, the tea doesn’t come on too strong but it does brag a little. There’s no Aqua Velva here though, thank goodness. Instead the tea’s cologne bears a muskier aroma. The warm hay-like classic notes of shou pu erh intermingle with leather, soy and wet earth as a savouriness seems to permeate beneath the earthier notes. While the bouquet’s complexity is curious enough to keep me smelling, it’s not quite as suave as a Hollywood prom date. It is sincere though as the earthiness has elements of fenugreek seed, cumin and coffee while also reminding me of the rising smell in the air when it just starts to rain on a hot day.

It isn’t quite a flirtatious beginning but the night is still young so to speak. Ready to tango, the light to medium body seems contrary to the deep colour, yet it is swift, pleasantly guided by a slight dryness. The taste isn’t as earthy as the aroma alluded with a mineral edginess, although it still draws me outside with flint, black walnut hulls or cocoa shells one puts in one’s garden. Yet unlike the garden, this brew doesn’t quite seem as layered or dimensional, but it isn’t too weighty to be plodding or heavy, ending each sip deftly without any aftertaste. There may not be animal magnetism or an instant connection, but the mineral character is not so one dimensional or so earthy to taste of soil, leaning more to wet brown leaves on cement. Plus the conversation is easily forthcoming without any bitterness or astringency.

As the limo pulls up, the tea still has some moves to try upon re-steeping as the leaves are still neatly folded though plumped, like little black ties. Its grounding personality continues to hold through three more infusions offering similar tasting cups that fade to a grand burnished copper or caramel with a light scent of slate.

While not every date has to start with flowers, and you can’t judge a book by its cover, the eager mineral earthiness behind Kteas pu'erh might not persuade all for a second date. Yet as a straightforward cup, it doesn't put on airs or try to be something its not.

— To purchase KTeas Pu’erh Leaf tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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