Tea-rrific – Per Erh

I like tea. 

I really like tea.

So, I have decided that I will keep track and review all of the yummy and exotic teas I try. Here is my first tea and review!

P1040763

The above is a picture of Per Erh tea leaves, which I tried for the first time today. I tried it when me and my other half stopped for a break after a wander around the centre of Cordoba after some Geocaching. (if you haven’t heard of it go forth onto the interwebs and have a ganders – it is brilliant)

Per Erh comes from the Yunnan Province in China.

yunnan-map1

This tea and its production is thousands of years old. The leaves go through a fermentation and ageing (although that is a slight simplification) process to acquire its deep smoky taste. Often and unfortunately due to our consumerist age most of the production of  loose leaf Per Erh is speeded up with bacterial culture, perhaps causing a compromise between quality and cost. Per Erh is one of the oldest teas in the world and uncommonly to tea it grows on trees, some of which are believed to be 2000 years old.

This tea used to and still is compressed into cakes which were much easier to transport than loose leaf in the times when the only transportation available were mules and donkeys as opposed to lorries and planes.

Interesting website for more information on Per Erh tea can be found here.

Review.

Though the history, intrigue and exotic nature of the Per Erh tea entices me I was unfortunately not keen on the taste. It was indeed smoky and intense as the description proclaimed. Yet it reminded me of the smell of a farm… that hay like, farmy taste. It conjured up images of llamas and animals rolling in hay. That smell you had on your hands after handling the £1 bags of pellets to feed the goats and sheep.

Though my hopes have been revived because I put this strange taste down to bad quality, quickly produced (contrary to the slow, natural and traditional ageing of the tea) loose leaf tea. My eyes are peeled now for some good, aged, fine Per Erh.

Until I find that though… this tea receives a temporarily disappointing  2 out of 5 cups!

teatea

Have you been drinking any interesting or fabulous teas recently? What do you think of Per Erh?

Dominique

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