A friend of mine went to China several years ago and told me about a tea she bought where the tea was packed into the rind of an orange and you brewed it whole in the orange. A pretty exotic-sounding tea to this American, but intriguing – and something I’ve wanted to try ever since.

Then a couple of weeks ago Instagrammer Anna, The Tea Squirrel, recommended a tea from Onetea.co that sounded something like this tea my friend had gotten, their Green Mandarin Ripe Pu’er tea. So I decided to give it a try.

Firstly, it’s a great deal – for a mere US$10 you can get five tuo cha that are re-brewable multiple times (Onetea’s recommendation is to brew at least 3-4 times). The tea in the mandarin has been aged 10 years, and you can expect the flavor to evolve a bit each time you brew it.

Secondly, I had to figure out how one actually brewed this kind of tea! Luckily, the directions on the Onetea.co site provide that instruction – put one whole tea “ball” into your pot, pour boiling water over it and wait 20-30 seconds only before pouring it out to drink.

I probably brewed my tea just slightly too long – left it in about a minute before I removed it. Below on the left is after about 20 seconds; on the right after 60 seconds.

That being said, the tea turned out to be the most beautiful cognac-y color – it was gorgeous and so inviting to even look at; makes you want to taste it!

As to how it actually smelled and tasted – it definitely has an earthy bent, almost woodsy, I would have said by the scent. When I smelled it – the hints of woods, grass, earth – it brought be back to my childhood, and growing up on a farm. From both field to forest. We had several acres of woods behind our house, and the feeling evoked by the scent was almost one of walking through it on a spring day.

The flavor was just lovely and earthy, clean – I’m not the greatest at picking my tasting adjectives, but it just felt like a drink of pure tea, like heaven. I didn’t taste much citrus as yet, but according to Onetea, that flavor should get stronger with subsequent brews.

So if you are hankering to try a pu’er packed in green mandarin, I would highly recommend trying this tea from Onetea.co. And enjoy!

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