Have you heard of Pu-erh tea? Its an entirely new category of tea for most tea drinkers. Pu-erh is traditionally formed into a pressed bricks, discs or bowl shapes of tea leaves as part of the fermentation process, this “cake” of tea can be aged up to 50 years and is the only tea that actually improves with aging. These “cakes” of tea were actually used as a type of currency and were prized for their ability to withstand the rigorously rough long travel by camel train through the mountainous areas of China centuries ago. Like a fine wine, aging actually improves the smooth quality of this dark tea and gives it more depth of flavor and more mellow tones.
Centuries ago, tea traders made a critical error in translation when describing teas shipped to English speaking lands. What we call black tea in the western world is actually called red tea in China. What we now call dark tea is called black tea in China. In China black tea and red tea are two totally different categories of tea with different processing as well as different flavor profiles.
Pu-erh (pronounced “Poo-air”), what we now call Dark Tea is a special category of aged tea from China that until recently was seldom available outside of Asia. Dark tea’s popularity is gaining momentum due to its powerful medicinal effects and the recommendation of celebrities such as Dr. Oz, a physician and medical talk show host who publicized pu-erh as an effective weight-loss aid and probiotic. His recommendation alone significantly increased the demand for this unique category of tea. For more information about the health benefits of Pu-erh tea(Dark Tea) check out the category notes on Octavia’s website HERE.
Octavia Tea’s Dark Rose Hearts is a unique tea experience. Each heart shaped “cake” can be brewed multiple times with each brewing giving a subtly different taste. With it’s delicate whisper of rose and a gentle smoothness this tea can be enjoyed all day long. I like to brew a pot with one heart and continue to brew pot after pot all day long with the same heart shaped “cake” enjoying subtle changes in taste with each pot.
BREWING TIPS: Use one heart in a mug (6-12 oz) and briefly steep for 1-2 minutes, or use one in a larger pot (12-20 oz) and steep 2-4 minutes. This tea can be re-steeped multiple times, presenting a different character with each infusion.
Each tin contains 20 hearts and brews between 20-40 servings depending on desired strength. By using one heart per pot, you can get many more servings from a tin of Dark Rose Hearts with excellent results. Even if you are a lover of strong tea, Dark Rose Hearts can be your new favorite since this Pu-erh is a bold yet subtle tea, with notes of rose. Delicious!
If you’d like more information about Octavia Tea Company or if you’d like to experience Dark Rose Hearts Pu-erh tea for yourself, check out Octavia Tea Company’s website HERE. You can also find their teas at specialty and gourmet shops.
This post is part of an A-2-Z Writing Challenge for the month of April where you write everyday except Sundays with the next letter of the alphabet.