Before we left for vacation to Keystone, CO last week, a package arrived for me from China. I had been contacted by a gal from Teavivre, a tea company, to review some of their teas. When I saw they carried Pu-erh tea, I jumped at the chance to sample this much talked about, tea.
Pu-erh tea is processed into cakes and stored for various lengths of time during which, fermentation takes place.
an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid); broadly : an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound-Mirriam-Webster online dictionary
If you would like to read more about how, and why, this is done, here is a LINK to the rest of the Wiki article.
The Pu-erh tea from Teavivre comes in mini-cakes about the diameter of a quarter. I love this as it makes them easy to transport and to use. One mini-cake brews a single, 8oz cup of tea.
The surprising things about this tea were 1. how dark it is, and 2. how mellow it tastes. This tea goes great with milk and sugar and would be a good compliment to just about any dish with which it is served. It is also good as a stand alone tea meaning; you do not have to serve it with food. It is easily enjoyed by itself. If you have ever wanted to try Pu-erh tea but were wary of how it might taste, but aside you fears and give this mild, mini-tea cake from Teavivre a go. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the mild taste and may even end up adding it to your regular tea palette.
Unfortunately, Colorado Springs is not known for its exotic tea choices. I have spoken to local tea store owners who say they even have a hard time selling oolong teas which have become pretty mainstream by now. To enjoy this unusual tea, you will need to order it online directly from Teavivre.
Brewing tip: I recommend brewing this tea in a separate container and then transferring it to your tea cup when it is done brewing. Remember to use a strainer when pouring.