The description of making this White Pu-erh: Mandarin Orange tea: “From the careful plucking of centuries old tea bushes, to the rolling on wide wicker baskets to the natural wood fires used to flash heat the mandarin orange peel, everything is done entirely by hand. Firing the orange peel serves to kill any microorganisms that may be present.”
Okay, that is hardcore. However, I purely bought one of these oranges because it seemed really cool and crazy that there’s tea stuffed inside!
DRY LEAF: The tea is wrapped twice – once with the label,
And another time with a shrink wrap.
As I remove the shrink wrap, the peel of the orange is very thin and brittle, easily falling apart and making a huge mess. You are not supposed to steep the peel, which is kinda tricky at first as all those bits falling off can be mistaken for leaves, or have leaves stuck on them.
Once I got the plastic off, the orange has a… dusty smell. Unexciting.
The leaves kinda look like fuzzy spider legs! ewwwww!
Mr. Owly wasn’t impressed either. He went back to eating his beef jerky.
The next challenge, flaking off the tea I want to drink! Thankfully, the tea isn’t compressed too tightly, so I was able to carefully tweeze out some leaves with my fingers. Ugg, this is a mess. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come when I try out my first pu’er cake.
It looks like you’ll get 3 or 4 servings of tea from 1 orange.
STEEPED: I followed the steeping instructions on the website: 185F. I decided to go short steeps to get more out of this freaky tea orange. I used my glass gaiwan for this crazy orange tea!
Brew orange tea, brew!
A sunny yellow colour of tea! The colour kind of looks like a chamomile. The tea has a weird dry smell to it.
WAHHH! Owly photobomb!
First, Second and Third Infusion: (30, 40 seconds) Quite a delicate pu’erh! This tastes kinda like a Bai Mu Dan with a spike of mandarin orange in it. It’s slightly honey sweet, roasty and a bit of floral and grass going on. However, this tea was not like a Bai Mu Dan white as it seemed there was more levels of flavors going on, and not as crisp and fresh tasting. No bitterness or dryness in this tea.
Fourth Infusion: (60 seconds) This is much less like a regular white tea now. There is a linen like note coming out now. The slight floral has a chrysanthemum vibe to it. The orange note is still present, really melding together with the grassy taste.
I love the how the tea leaves looked after a bunch of steepings. The leaves got bigger and dark, looking really cool from the side of my glass gaiwan.
Fifth and Sixth Infusion (90 , 120 seconds) The white pu’erh is getting sweeter and more crisp. The orange flavor has now vanished, The taste has turned kind a little creamy here too.
Seventh Infusion (3 minutes) I think this tea is done, this infusing is very light and just slightly flavored.
COMMENTS: I’m still picking up bits of orange peel on the floor and counter. Hmmm.. how do I package up the rest of this orange? Oh crap… well, it came in plastic so I’ll just put it back in its plastic baggie for now, maybe wrap it in tissue later.
Overall, White Pu-erh: Mandarin Orange was a neat pu’erh to try. It was very different, though seemed pricey at $4 per orange for 4 tea session. I would probably try another orange, you can get them with green or black tea. If you love pu’er and want a different spin on it, try one of these White Pu-erh: Mandarin Oranges,