Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The Persimmon Tree, Honeysuckle
The Honeysuckle pu-erh tea delivers a deep red infusion with a sweet woodsy, floral aroma. The finished brew is mild and earthy, with a lingering hint of honeysuckle. This honeysuckle tea can be steeped multiple times in a sitting without becoming bitter. This particular pu-erh is cooked and has been aged for about 4-6 years.
Our teas are packaged in small, medium or large airtight interior seal tins. These tins are perfect for storage as it protect the teas from moisture and light, which preserves the freshness of the teas much longer.
Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree.
Popping the lid off this latest sample I had almost no preconceived ideas. The Persimmon Tree offerings have always been very good quality and I have had one other of their puerhs (Immortal Nectar) that proved to be a work horse tea so I wasn't concerned. Honeysuckle though, that puts a very definite image in my head. It grows wild in the fence rows around here. In the summertime it fills the morning air with the most beautiful fragrance. A slow morning drive in the country with the windows down is always a treat.
The tin is very solid. The dry leaf looks like the picture. The dry leaf has a nice fresh leaf scent like a fruity black tea that I find unusual for puerh. There is an accompanying note that I interpret as light mint. I used 1 1/2 tsp in a Finum basket with 5 oz of nearly boiling (200F) water. The first cup I steeped for 30 seconds. The Persimmon Tree suggests 3-5 minutes. At 30 s it appeared quite dark - not inky just deep burgundy. The wet leaf had just a hint of an earthy puerh but was nothing to be concerned about if you are a first time taster of puerh.
The cup aroma is similar to the wet leaf. The Persimmon Tree calls this a sweet woodsy floral aroma but understand it is more like the sweet woodsy floral aroma of the damp forest floor. The sip was very mild. I have not had many puerhs that were any smoother. This is easily sippable. I still notice hints of the mint I caught in the dry leaf. The flavor is lightly earthy and verges on book leather but never quite reaches it. As the cup cooled I did notice the aftertaste became sweeter. I enjoyed the cup but must admit I never made the honeysuckle connection.
The second cup I steeped for 5 minutes as suggested to see how much difference it might make. Honestly not a lot. It has only a slight amount of scratchy bite but remains easy to drink. I liked the shorter steep a little more. I suggest 2 minutes as a starting point and adjust from there. This obviously holds up to resteeps. After two cups it shows no signs of letting up.
If you have stacks of puerh cakes aging away in your stash, this might not interest you except as an everyday loose leaf to share during casual conversations. For those who are curious to try puerh but have heard so many scary stories you are afraid - this is an excellent introduction with a pleasant taste and enough depth to grow with you for some time.
You can find Honeysuckle here.
About The Persimmon Tree:
(From their website) The Persimmon Tree® offers our customers some of the world's finest organic teas and botanicals. Not only are most of our fresh high quality teas from around the globe hand-blended and organically grown, some of our teas are also fair trade, ensuring fair working conditions, fair wages, and a better life for tea workers from countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
At The Persimmon Tree®, our mission is simple: to enrich people's lives through the pleasure of tea.