Bitter Leaf Teas released their new predictions not long ago, and a part of those productions were three different grades of the same tea. Bitter Leaf Tea’s called this tea ‘Plum Beauty’, but it’s really Mengsong puer. They’re selling three grades of this tea: bronze, silver, and gold. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on the silver and gold grades. The silver grade is made form old tea tree material, while the gold grade is made from ancient tea tree material. So how does the silver and gold grade hold up? Lets find out!
Steeps 1 - 4
For each session, I used 4g of tea in a 60ml vessel with water at a temp of 185ºf. Anyways, starting out, the silver grade of this tea began with a medicinal body and a sweet aftertaste. After a few more infusions, a moss undertone became present as it left a faint bite on the tongue. Meanwhile, the gold grade of this tea started with a medicinal and herb-like body, and was so strong that it was spicy to the tip of the tongue. After a few more infusions, it took on a broth like texture that kept getting stronger and stronger.
Steeps 5 - 8
The silver grade of this tea kept opening up, and started to take on a velvet-like texture. The pleasant texture brought out a wood-like base that mixed with the medicinal forefront. As the infusions kept going, the silver grade's texture turned into a broth-like substance as it brought out a faint spiciness. Anyways, with the gold grade of this tea, the medicinal herb-like body kept expanding as it became heavier and bolder. The body of this tea became as thick as olive oil, which left a light bitter on the tongue. After redoing a few steeps to weaken this tea, it was still very heavy and started to make me feel light headed.
Steeps 9 - 12
The silver grade began to settle down as its medicinal body became smoother and smoother. The moss-like undertones left a lingering sweetness in the back to the throat, as this tea’s texture was smooth and heavenly. On the other hand, the gold version of this tea was still bold, but also began to settle down. The medical body left behind a herb-like sweetness on the tongue, as its texture was as fine as oil until the very last steep.
The experience with Plum Beauty was a pleasant one, and was very relaxing. To start, the silver grade of this tea was of exceptional quality, which adds to this tea’s overall experience. The gold version of this tea is a great experience, but does come at a higher price. I think for the price, the gold standard of this tea is an experience worth having because it shows you the positive attributes of how complex an ancient tea tree can really be. Overall, I would recommend both teas, and I think that tasting both grades was an excellent learning opportunity. I hope that when you try plum beauty, you’ll learn about the differences of tea tree age as much as I did…