drank Puerh Tuo Cha by Butiki Teas
2238 tasting notes

Back from my Christmas break today, and time to be brave once again. I mostly drank teas I was familiar with over the holidays – old friends I knew wouldn’t let me down. Now that reality has set back in, I’m back to my usual routine.

I picked this one up with a Butiki order a while ago, and it’s languished in my cupboard ever since. That’s because I’m more afraid of pu’erh than I like to admit. My last one wasn’t so bad, though, and that’s given me the confidence to continue my journey today.

I gave this one 2 minutes in boiling water for a first steep, and the resulting liquor is an orangey-red-brown. It smells typically pu’erh like, earthy with a hint of sweaty horse.

The taste, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. It’s fresh, sweet, and far more reminiscent of a forest after a rain shower than a pig sty or horse’s stable. There’s an earthiness in the initial sip, but it’s a grassy-earthiness rather than a muddy-earthiness; very clean and green-tasting, if not quite what I’d call vegetal. The mid-sip is cooling and little camphor like. It puts me in mind of mint, but there’s no mintiness in the flavour. I can taste leaves and herbs more than anything – I’m thinking maybe basil or oregano with a hint of chlorophyll in the aftertaste.

This has been a completely unexpected cup, and by far the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had with a pu’erh. I probably could have left this one to brew longer, and I would definitely feel happy to go with the recommended 7 minutes for subsequent steeps. As it’s nearly time to go home, though, I’m not going to get to try this today. Definitely one to revisit, though.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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