8/21/19

Townshend's Tea Company No. 10 Sticky Rice Pu-Erh | Review by Kaplowitz

“LoFi & lovely”


Townshend's Tea Company
No. 10 Sticky Rice Pu-Erh

ORIGIN: Yunnan, China
TYPE: (Shou) Pu'erh (scented w/ Nuomixiang)

FORMAT: Bird's nest
METHOD: Infuser

WEBSITE: www.townshendstea.com

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NOTES:
The small cakes are more flaky than dense. Darkly complected. A shock of goldenrod is here and there, lesser-so shocks of a lively green. Smells like Nuomixiang, the rice-scented herb employed here. Read: the cakes smell like rice (or a caricature thereof). A lot & a lot of it; triggers me salivating in vegetal savory anticipation.

Once brewed, it sits dark & sharp in my mason jar w/ a burgundy under-hue.  Noses there to the tune of a diluted cake note. Go figure. There's some dark roasted tea there, too. Go figure. Earthy, bigly-so. Fantastically aromatic. 'Rice' over tea. Sips somewhere twixt black tea & beef broth. Doubles-down on the Nuomixiang, which tastes like rice w/ cheerios smashed in.

[A more balanced look at the black tea would be nice.*] Overall, heavy, substantial. Somewhat fungal. Fleeting bit of pepper-spicy stiffness. Barnyard, compost, black dirt. Slurping lets some light shine in and a tick of a watery vibe. Just a half-hint of astringency which keeps a burgeoning sweetness from cloying. Molasses, maybe.

The finish is pats of butter pillowiness, long and also slightly tingles the corner of my tongue. For some reason making me wanna say "black walnut." Underneath that note which maybe isn't there, is/are purple fruit preserves. I'm most likely just imagining I taste soy sauce. Anise. Hard-hitting. Deeply nuanced. A lot to take in.

*Subsequent brewings (2) show the black tea itself to ring a tick hollow. Perhaps why it doesn't hold up against the nuomixiang at the first brew above.

FINAL GRADE: B
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59

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