Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pu'erh From Yunnan

Before we decided to dedicate our travels in China to tea, we went to Kunming, Yunnan, as a favor to a fellow teacher who had to look for work elsewhere. He had heard of Kunming and wanted to go. Sunee and I decided to head on down to south Yunnan and see Sichuanbanna and the "Dai" culture which was supposed to be cousins to the Thais. We joined a Chinese tour which took us to some commercial pu'erh shops as is normally the case. We bought these pressed pu'erh pieces because they looked neat and Sunee got a good deal on them. We also bought some smaller pieces for hanging and about a half a pound or so of Pu'erh minis.

Pu'erh pressed into the form of Ancient Chinese money, Side A

Pu'erh Chinese Money, Side B

Pu'er pressed into Chinese Zodiac sign, Side A

Chinese Zodiac, Side B

Some pu'erh bricks we bought in Jinghong, Yunnan. They were pretty and that is why we bought them. I doubt if we will ever drink them. Next chance I get, I will buy some real drinking Pu'erh. But much research needs to be done first!

A close-up of one of the bricks.

Sunee liked the idea of these Chinese hanging pu'erh tea pressings. Cute but probably undrinkable.

We also bought a bunch of these pu'erh nuggets that are about the circumference of a quarter. Each is wrapped and looks to be like a Hershey's Chocolate kiss.

Unwrap the "nugget" and it looks like this. Round (sort of) on the top and flat with a hole on the bottom.

Here you can get the idea of the coarseness and color of the pu'erh.

A cup of pu'erh. I decided I wanted to try some so we took one of the pu'erh nuggets to try. It is not like any green tea and that is for sure? I can see why people refer to the taste as "earthy." But, wow, is it smooth. There is virtually no aftertaste in the form of a bite of sweet or bitter. Just smooth from front to back. Now what does that mean? Well, I will have to get some really good pu'erh from the big tea store in Chengdu and find out what it is like. This pu'erh is good but I think it may be a little weak on taste. The is also a lot of "dust-like" particles in the strainer. What can one expect from such a tiny "tea kiss!" Sunee does not like it but I do. I am looking forward to going to Chengdu next month to pick up Sunee from Thailand and spend a couple of days. Tea time!

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