Sticky Rice Shu Pu'er Tea Coin (糯米香熟幣, Nuò Mǐ Xiāng Xiǎo Bì, "Sticky Rice Fragrance Ripened Coin") - This traditional style of scented Pu'er is popular with the Báizú 白族 ("Bai Ethnicity") minority peoples of Yunnan. Starting with high quality xiǎo duī zi 小堆子 ("small-pile") fermented Pu'er leaves from Nannuo Mountain, the tea is scented with the leaves of Nuò Mǐ Xiāng, an herb with a sweet cereal fragrance reminiscent of fresh cooked glutinous rice. The herb is said to aid in digestion, and complements the rich earthy character of Nannuo Shu Pu'er. It produces a dark, red-brown infusion combining the loamy depth of Shu with the pleasant toasted grain aroma of the sticky rice fragrance plant, set against a background of characteristic Nannuo Mountain minerality.
This tea coin includes 7g of pressed tea. The base color of the wrapper is brown, indicating that it is a Shu Pu'er. The ring is blue, indicating that this tea is made using herbal leaves--in this case, the leaves of the Nuò Mǐ Xiāng plant.
I was pleasantly surprised by this shu puer, having first tried its Sheng counterpart (Sticky Rice Sheng Puer) and not enjoying that as much. But this Shu Puer was delicious! Along with the deep earthiness and smooth drinking that we all love about Shu puers, this also had a sweetness that at first appears to be subtle when compared to other teas. But as I drank through the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc infusions I came to see that sweetness as a key character of this shu puer because I’ve not tasted others like it (in my somewhat limited shu puer tasting experience of only trying a handful of varieties). It was thick, rich, deliciously sweet on the palate and I found it to have a long lasting finish. This was a tea I just had to boil at the end to get the last bit of flavour out.