Art of Tea owner and founder, Steve Schwartz and I continued our tea journey to discover the wonders of re-steeping pu-erh. Naturally, this is not my favorite choice for tea because of its bold and earthy characteristics, but I learned that re-steeping it can definitely change its flavor profile. This time, Steve and I re-steeped loose leaf pu-erh using Art of Tea’s Immortal Nectar.
The name Immortal Nectar comes from the Sanskrit term, Amrit, meaning “immortality”. In Hinduism, Amrit is known as a drink of the gods or nectar of the goddess. Just as the Greeks consumed ambrosia or food of the gods, the Hindus drank Amrit, which granted them immortality. Accordingly, this cave-aged, supreme loose leaf pu-erh was named after a heavenly elixir to infer that it may provide unearthly graces, or health benefits.
An article from Livestrong.com says pu-erh tea reduces cardiovascular risk and fat content as well as helps prevent cancer. Since pu-erh consists of broken leaves from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, these leaves yield a higher oxidation level when the tea is fermented. This is believed to produce pu-erh’s health benefits.
First, we put one teaspoon of the loose leaf Immortal Nectar in our Gaiwan. Then, we flushed the tea for 30 seconds to rinse off any excess sediment still lingering on the tea from the fermentation process. After that, we poured the boiled water over the leaves and drained the water after 30 seconds.
|Steep||Water Temperature||Steep Time||Flavor Profile|
|First||195 degrees||30 seconds||Light, sweet, earthy|
|Second||208 degrees||1 minute||Gritty texture and earthy taste; leaves open up, sweeter, musky|
|Third||208 degrees||1 minute||Darker, woodsy smell, alcohol/whiskey tasting|
|Fourth||205 degrees||2 minutes||Opens up even more, cinnamon tasting, round, well-balanced flavors|
|Fifth||205 degrees||4 minutes||Earthy, peppery, sweet finish|
This is a great pu-erh to try if you are new to this tea because it provides lighter flavors that come across as slightly sweet and less astringent. Throughout the five steeps, the flavor profile of Immortal Nectar continued to evolve in sometimes unexpected ways. As you notice, the third steep released a whiskey taste and alcohol-like essence. By the fourth steep, the traditional robust and woodsy pu-erh flavors were soon overpowered by sweet and cinnamon undertones. This was the best cup yet! It was evident that the more I re-steeped the better tasting the tea became. Each steep unlocked a number of flavors and aromas surprising me each time.
The discovery of new tea profiles never ends when you simply re-steep the leaves. It’s amazing what aromas and flavors are released after multiple steeps. Now it’s your turn! Feel free to use our steeping times and water temperatures as a guideline, but adjust where you see fit. Share your tea journeys with us by commenting below!