Welcome to one of the cutest parcels of tea I’ve come across recently. Inside this delicately wrapped bundle is a pellet of delicious pu-err tea. Pu-err is a black tea that the Chinese bury in bit of soil, leave for a bit and dig up later, leaving it to absorb some of that muddy, earthy taste.
I adore it. It does have a rather distinctive aroma, that others seem to find, well, curious. This, less so than other pu-errs I’ve tried, is far more subtle. There’s less of the being-on-the-farm-yard-shovelling-manure aroma about it; so if I’ve tried to tempt you with pu-err from Lee Rosy’s before, perhaps this might be more palatable to you.
I’ve got to admit though, I think its that farmy smell that holds so much of the appeal of pu-err teas for me. It reminds me childhood trips to my grandparents’ farm: feeding the cats, watching the pigs and staring at the cows. And jumping in a LOT of puddles. Riding on the back of tractors. Eating as many biscuits as I physically could. This is the smell of the farm.
When I slid into Attic in Bristol the other week to buy some Yunnan, they offered me the little balls of tea here to try. This is the proper stuff, imported directly from China. Apparently as well, pu-err is almost caffeine free, something I’d not realised given its rather thick, earthy and very black liquor. I’m not interested in the health benefits, I just want the smell.
Because it’s the hearty comforting brew you want before you go to bed.