Friday, September 18, 2015

6 Mountains Pu Erh Tea

The latest sample sent to me by SocialNature is 6 Mountains Pu Erh Tea. The name 6 Mountains Tea probably comes from the reputed "Six Great Tea Mountains".

6 Mountains Tea - tea bag

6 Mountains Tea - instructions 1

6 Mountains Tea - instructions 2

The two pictures below show how the Earl Gray tablet turned out after the first steeping of 3 minutes.

6 Mountains Tea - first steeping 1

6 Mountains Tea - first steeping 2

Mine did not smell fishy, which suggests a slip-up during production. Not sure what the return policy is in such a case, but such accidents are not exclusive to any brand.

I made a second mug shortly after and in seconds the tea bag delivered a deep, rich colour (see below). After taking the following photo, I took out the bag to preserve it for future steeping and I recommend you do so as soon as you get the desired strength/colour from steeping.

6 Mountains Tea - second steeping

6 Mountains Pu Erh tea tablets are sold in 12-packs for $39, plus $10 flat rate shipping, plus $0.50 GST on shipping. At $39 per 12, it works out to $3.25 per tablet. If you assume that you can steep it 4 times, it is roughly 80 cents per mug.
How you interpret this price will greatly determine how much value you perceive.

If you go to Starbucks, a tall (small) cup of Teavana uses one tea bag and will cost $2.15. You can also ask for a refill of hot water, so it could possibly work out to $1.08 per cup, but the second cup is gonna be weak.
Flavour-wise, you'd need to really love your tea to care about having more than just flavoured water. So if you just want flavour in your hot water, you could buy Lipton's Yellow Label. On offer at Superstore, it could be just $5 for 100 bags, or 5 cents per mug. Your second steeping will probably be quite weak, but if you can live with it, you can count it at 3 cents per mug.

So if you pick up 6 Mountains Pu Erh tea at all, it will probably be because you care that it is post-fermented and offers assorted benefits. These are non-quantitative benefits. You would need to experience it over time in a rigorous controlled test to see for sure -- in short, you either believe it or you don't. And if you don't, you're going to shop for flavour or price, and neither qualities are really what 6 Mountains is about (although they do have three flavours - Original, Earl Gray, and Rose).

Other than cost, presentation is very classy and (my personal preference here) flavour is better and more mellow than Lipton's.

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