When placing my Liquid Proust Teas order it was primarily for the Watermelon Bao Zhong (and my eternal love for watermelon), but since postage was the same for a few packs of tea I ended up making the most of my order. With one pack left to round up the price I was trying to decide which one to go for, and in the end I chose Rummy Pu. I chose this tea for one reason…I’m playing Risen 3 and it’s a pirate themed RPG which uses rum to increase health. That swayed me to go ahead and order a pouch of it to try. I should go on record and say that I am not a rum drinker nor am I usually a Shu (ripe) Pu Erh fan either. Still the combination was intriguing and when my order arrived it was the first tea I tried.
The description: A ripe golden needle puerh aged in a rum barrel acquired from a local distillery; made to showcase at the Midwest Tea Fest of 2016 and it exceeded all expectations!
Very unique and special offering and once it’s gone, it is gone.
It is an interesting venture, putting golden needle Pu Erh into a rum barrel to absorb the flavour. Frankly the idea is genius!
Opening the packet there is an intense rum scent that reminds me of rum ball sweets and rum and raisin ice cream, rum treats from days gone by. It’s sour and sharp like rum is but it also has an earthy tone with it and some sweetness. It’s wonderful, I could keep sniffing it forever. It truly is rum though, it even has that clinical sort of smell that alcohol spirits have.
The tea itself consists of large golden tipped leaves which look like a good quality base. They are highly reflective and have some downy hairs when you look at them closely. Being so golden they remind me of a golden tip Dian Hong which I am more familiar with than golden tip Pu Erh.
Being Pu Erh I considered the best method to steep it but given the rum content I settled on my glass steeping mug which acts like a teapot. It will hopefully get the best of the rum out of the tea.
5g of leaf into my 320ml vessel using boiling water across three steeps.
First Steep – 1 minute
Once steeped the tea liquid is dark brown/red with a damp and earthy scent with sweet and sharp rum taking centre stage.
The first few sips reveal a smooth and sweet combination with some damp earth and a touch of sourness, but the rum cuts through the earth and it’s taste lingers. While it’s hot it’s not as strong as the scent in terms of rum but it’s still very noticeable. It’s actually a nice combination, you have the smoothness of the golden tips with some earthiness but the rum brings sweetness but also a strength that matches the wood and damp elements from the Shu.
Half way down the cup and my mouth is completely coated with a soft and creamy rum flavour which just resembles rum ball sweets even more. Also the rum is more noticeable as the tea cools.
The raw leaves are still strong smelling, despite already having one steep.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
More rum in this steep but it remains as creamy as the first cup. The rum is not as medicinal as the first steep but it remains sweet. This cup is perhaps a little dry in comparison but it’s in a nice way.
This is a delicious steep, it has more body but the flavours remain the same.
The loose leaves still smell like rum but there is also a manure like sweetness to it now.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
This steep smells a lot less like rum, with sour earth notes now in control.
In flavour I also feel that the rum has toned down but it’s still there, just softer and less sweet among the thick cream of the golden tips.
This tea is rum-a-licious! A creamy base combined with sweet rum that resembles rum ball sweets brings back lots of nostalgia. The only time I would get rum balls or rum and raisin ice cream is when I went to the seaside, so for me it homes in on happy memories. Plus I like the balance between the two, being a Sheng fan over Shu I find myself enjoying this base quite a bit. The smoothness and cream reminds me of a nice Dian Hong golden tip but less malty and more earthy.
Liquid Proust Teas are currently selling ten packs of this as a clearance.
Happy Steeping Everyone!