Whilst I am a purist at heart, in life there are exceptions and the combination of ripe puerh tea and honey (+ milk is optional) is so delicious and comforting I will happily accept a cup to slowly sip and savor. If you have a sweet tooth and you enjoy ripe puerh tea I highly recommend giving this a try. Additionally it is a great way to introduce ripe puerh to new tea drinkers. The honey sweetness provides a familiar note that most people can relate to and makes ripe puerh tea much more approachable for the uninitiated.
Brewing a cup of ripe puerh tea from an age Gong Ting teacake. The pollen from the honey gives the tea an orange hue. Be sure to brew the tea stronger if you decide to add milk.
Generally any decent ripe puerh mixed with a spoonful of honey
will make for a very good cup of tea. However as this is a blog entry, I decided to make things more interesting by using age ripe puerh
together with forest honey I picked up in Cambodia. The honey
was gathered by the local people and crudely filtered allowing much of the pollen to remain. The bees wax and bits of unknown and mystifying matter are an added bonus and provide an unexpected source of protein.
That said, the complexity of the honey is wonderful and having so much pollen in
the mix is a treat as it adds a wonderful floral creaminess to the tea
when stirred in. As the honey can easily dominate the tea I would advise to start with adding a little honey at first and taste. It is better to err on a lesser quantity than having added too much.
A Taste of the Wild - This Cambodian honey gathered from the wild is as raw and natural as I have
come across. Despite appearances the taste is clean, very rich and
complex. The taste gives you so much more than simply sweetness with the
spectrum of flavors reaching out to touch on aspects of bitter, sour,
earth, medicinal, floral and more. For me wild honey such as
this really illustrates the diversity and complexity that nature brings
for our enjoyment.
For those who love their honey below are a few interesting links on the health and medicinal benefits related to honey.
5 Things You Didn't Know About Honey
Honey: Health Benefits and Uses In Medicine
Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity
Honey as Medicine
Traditional Uses of Honey in Ayurveda