Review: Canton Tea Co. 2010 Bo You Imperial Red Pu’er Cake

Canton Tea Co., Pu'er Tea Add comments
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Keeps performing after several brews. A good investment."
CJ’s Teaview: 9/10
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Even though this ebony disk of compressed tea leaves was only three years old when I tried it, it behaved like a very old tea indeed.  The best part was, had I the willpower to save it, it would have improved with age.  Such is the beauty of pu-ers, once you acquire a taste for them.

If you are the impatient sort and want a smooth and easy introduction to cooked pu'ers, go for one labeled "Imperial."  They are higher grade, and purported to be comparatively mellow.  I found that to be true with this batch from Canton Tea Company. While Canton no longer carries this vintage, I did find a few other tea merchants that had it in stock.  If you're looking for a pinch of leaves that can keep you fueled all day, you might want to track it down.

Like all cooked pu'ers, it smells like a stable, but don't be alarmed. The taste is much milder!  It helps if you "rinse" the leaves before making your first pot, that is, swish them with boiling water for 10 to 30 seconds, and then dump it out.  Even after a little bath, I got three strong infusions from one teaspoon of leaves per 12 ounces of  boiling water.

I brewed the first batch for one minute.  The liquor was a medium, amber color, and the flavor was mildly earthy.  After a second, 90-second infusion, I got a a deep, red infusion that tasted sweeter and somewhat like tobacco.  The third steep was for two minutes.  The color was intensely red, sweeter, mellower, and perhaps a tad weaker.  Tea drinkers who like a milder brew would have enjoyed at least another three pots from those leaves.  I would have, too, if I could drink that much tea in a day!  Good stuff.  I rate it a 9.




— To purchase Canton Tea Co. 2010 Bo You Imperial Red Pu’er Cake, 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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